Update April 10th
Piano Auctions - Results
A Very Friendly Lion
New Pictures of the
Felix Gross Viennese Grand
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Most of our pianos originate from the area of London around Soho, Cheapside, and The City. But there was activity "South of the River", around Lambeth, and in this case London Road, Obelisk. It is interesting that these pianos, bearing various names such as Edwards, Hills, and Phillips, do share a characteristic and charming nameboard design featuring the Hanoverian Coat of Arms, supported by a Unicorn and a Very Friendly Lion (although this one is a bit more fierce than others). It has to be a fair bet that the artist had never seen a real lion, nor even an actual Unicorn...
Please see the Sale Page ('Hills c. 1810') for details of this exceptionally fine piano, now offered for sale.
Piano Auctions April Sale and
Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos
We had a good turnout of Friends on the viewing day, Wednesday 9th, 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.
Please see the Sale Page for more details.
Please see the Pianos for Sale page for more details.
Spring will soon be here... just as soon as it stops raining. Planning is well advanced for our fourth Square Piano Weekend at Finchcocks, on 10th - 11th May.
We hope to see familiar faces again, and would particularly encourage new Friends to join us.
A number of Friends have already indicated more or less firmly that they would like to come this year. I will be emailing all them, and also others who have been before, to confirm numbers. It would help me very much if you could email me as soon as you can, so that I can develop the 'Provisionally Definite' list.
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. To preserve the informal atmosphere, the attandance will be limited to about 35 - 40. Numbers are comfortable at the moment, so please do not delay too long.
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.
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.
For any questions or suggestions, Please get in touch with me, David, on email@example.com
Please see the Finchcocks Page for further details
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!
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.
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.