Welcome to

Friends of Square Pianos!

This is a website for anyone who owns, or would like to own, a square piano, or possibly a spinet. 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.

 

Update 14th October

 

Chelveston 2019

 

Douglas Hollick Recitals in Cambridge

 

Duwaer in Concert

 

Chelveston 2019

We enjoyed a successful Friends of Square Pianos party in my home village of Chelveston earlier this year, and planning is well under way for Saturday April 13th 2019.

As before, there will be at least a dozen pianos, spinets, and harpsichords there, and the theme will be 'Owners, Restorers, and Makers'.  The picture above shows about half of the instruments that we brought together in the hall in 2018.

 

Details are on the Chelveston 2019 page of the website.  Numbers will be limited to about 40 to ensure a good social occasion, and we are assured of a Full House.  So please get in touch as soon as you can if you would like to reserve a place.

Douglas Hollick Recitals in Cambridge

Two forthcoming recitals in Cambridge to be given by Douglas Hollick:

 

 - Thursday 18th October, Trinity College Chapel.

 

 - Saturday November 3rd,  on the Dolmetsch/Chickering clavichord, formerly in the collection of Christopher Hogwood.  Margaret Beaufort Institute Chapel.

 

Please see below for details.

CEM Poster Bach Oct 18.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [931.8 KB]
Margaret Beaufort Institute clavichord 3[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [795.3 KB]

Duwaer in Concert

We are so used to seeing grand pianos on the concert platform, that it makes a welcome change to see and hear a square piano on the stage.  Here we see Olaf van Hees' splendid Duwaer (c 1830) played by Anders Muskens in a performance of Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto.  The orchestra is of a size that would have been familar to Beethoven; it is the Neue Mannheimer Orchester playing on original instruments.  

 

https://soundcloud.com/o-s-van-hees/beethoven-3rd-pianoconcerto-anders-muskens-da-neue-mannheimer-orchester-on-original-instruments

 

Please folow the link, and notice not only how the piano and the orchestra are in balance, but how clearly we can hear the sound of the individual instruments of the orchestra.

 

The piano itself will be familiar to some of us - Olaf very kindly brought it to our Friends of Square Pianos party in April this year.  Here we see it in company with about half of the fifteen early keyboard instruments that we assembled for the occasion.

Planning for Chelveston 2019 (13th April) is now well in hand, and the formal announcement will appear on this page soon.

Square Pianos For Sale

The Instruments For Sale page continues to be the most-visited page, and there are about a dozen square pianos currently being offered, including this beautiful Rolfe, which has the benefit of a sound-clip.

 

Instruments For Sale

Piano Auctions September Sale 

There were two square pianos in the sale, an Érard c. 1803, and a 1799 Broadwood.  Both carried estimates of £1,000 - £1,500, and both sold for the top of the estimate.  The difference was that the Broadwood played perfectly (Luke Bradley gave us a mini-recital) whereas the Érard could only be described as a 'challenging project'.  Please see the Auction Page for details of these and other interesting instruments in the sale.

Interesting Results at the

Gardiner Houlgate  Auction

Only the Longman & Broderip square piano and the spinet were actually sold, indicating yet again that there is very little interest in 'modern' harpsichords.  

  

Of particular interest to me was the nice-looking replica of the famous

c. 1710 Keene & Brackley spinet.  This one was made by Anthony Calvert c. 1995, presumably from the Early Music Shop kit.  

Deservedly, this one sold for £1,750 (plus premium), well above the estimate of £300 - £500.  Let's bear in mind, though, that the kit for this spinet is still available from The Renaissance Workshop Company, at something over £5,500 including VAT and carriage.

 

Please see the Auction Page for details of the other instruments in the Sale.

Making a Spinet

  Some of you may have been following the construction - starting from a pile of wood - of this replica of a remarkable and important instrument.  The spinet is now complete and playing well, and has gone to its new home in Scotland; a second replica has joined the Carolina Music Museum.   Please see the Spinet Page for the story.

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..

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© David Hackett