Welcome to Friends of Square Pianos!

Update April 19th

 

Finchcocks 2014 - Final Call!

Welcome to Friends of Square Pianos! This is a sort of on-line club for anyone who owns, or would like to own,  a square piano. Or anyone who is just interested, possibly to learn a little more.

 

Please get in touch with me, David, on friends.sp@btinternet.com with questions, comments, or just to say 'Hello'.  This is a site for everyone, especially those new to the world of Square Pianos.  And of course, we very much appreciate the support of those with more experience.

 

Finchcocks 2014

 - Final Call!

   Our fourth Square Piano Weekend at Finchcocks is drawing near - it will be in just three weeks' time, on 10th - 11th May.  


  We are assured of a good party, with both familiar faces and new Friends.  There are still places available, so please let me know as soon as possible if your would like to come.  Please email David on 

friends.sp@btinternet.com


  New Friends will be particularly welcome.  The whole event will be very informal, and by no means 'exclusive' -  I wouldn't be there otherwise - so please come along if you can.  

 

We will follow the same plan as previous years, with the main part of Saturday devoted to demonstrations, talks and dicussions, followed by a dinner in the Cellar Restaurant, and then a musical event in the evening.  The Sunday will offer unstructured access to the amazing instruments in the collection, with the usual 'Open Day' in the afternoon. But please note that the elements are independent - we welcome guests for just the Day programme, or just the concert.

  

We were all enchanted by our soloist Martyna Kazmierczak at Finchcocks 2013.  I am delighted to announce that as the main feature of this year's party, Martyna has agreed to lead a presentation on the different stages in the development of square pianos, and the relationship between these technical differences, the music, and the approach to playing. Most of our previous topics have been technical or historical, and it will be a refreshing change to give more emphasis to the music, from the player's point of view. There will, of course, be plenty of musical illustrations in this presentation.

 

After our 'Square Meal' in the Finchcocks Cellar Resturant, there will be an evening entertainment by Café Haydn, the group of young musicians from The Netherlands, who are gaining a considerable reputation, with their performances usually selling out. We are privileged to have them here at Finchcocks.

  Please see the Finchcocks Page for further details, including outlines of the other presentations.

  We hope to see you there - you are assured of a special welcome!

 Piano Auctions April Sale and

Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos

We had a good turnout of Friends on the viewing day, Wednesday 9th April, and enjoyed coffee in Red Lion Square gardens, as well as our usual lunch in The Dolphin.

 

The Square pianos did well - please see the Auction Page for the results.

Please see the Auctions Page for further details.

A Piano for an Empress

  This famous piano was speciallly ordered from Johannes Zumpe by the Empress Ekaterina II for the wife of her son Pavel, future Emperor of Russia.  It was installed in the beautiful newly-built palace of Pavlovsk, where it is still to be seen today.

  The piano is musically a standard Zumpe of the time (1774) but is in a very elaborate case after the style of Robert Adam, beautifully constructed and inlaid.  The case is larger than it needs to be to accommodate the piano itself, and it features an eight-leg style, well before the six legs that were introduced in the early 1800s.

  It was recorded some years ago by Laurence Libin, but very little information was available then, and only a fuzzy B&W picture.  We are indeed fortunate that the recent restorer, also named Pavel, is numbered amongst Friends of Square Pianos, and we now have up-to-date pictures and details.

  Please watch this space for more news!  

The Spinet Page

  We all love those beautiful English Spinets, and now they have a Page of their own, where I hope to encourage interest, ownership, and amateur makers.

Square Piano Tech

Please take time to visit our sister website www.squarepianotech.com  This is run by our Friend Tom Strange in America, and is rapidly growing into a treasure-store of permanent wisdom.  

About the 'Webmaster' (David Hackett)

My only claim to respectability is that Carl Dolmetsch once offered to take me on as an apprentice.  This was in 1962, when I had just shown him my first clavichord, and been his guest at Haslemere.  However, he also advised me that it would be better to go to University, and I accepted his advice.  Early Keyboard Instruments have therefore remained a hobby, and now happily retired, I am able to spend a bit more time enjoying them - and encouraging others, I hope..

My real work is with homeless cats now, though - I have the privilege to be Co-ordinator of the local voluntary branch of Cats Protection.

 

www.cats.org.uk/wellingborough

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© David Hackett