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.

 

Update 3rd May

 

Morley Clavichord For Sale

 

Martyna's Website

 

Collard & Collard 1835 For Sale

 

Broadwood 1792 Sold

 

London Conference May 28th

Registration Now Open

 

Sale of theFinchcocks Collection

Catalogue now On-Line

 

 

 

 

Morley Clavichord For Sale

Many musicians (notably CPE Bach) have said that the clavichord is the most expressive of all keyboard instruments - the only one where the player remains in contact with the string throughout the note.  And for those of us who live in flats, it has many other advantages, being light, portable, and easy to maintain.  It is perhaps the perfect keyboard instrument to be enjoyed by the player and a friend or two, and will not cause problems with neighbours.

 

Please see the Sale Page for details of this five-octave example by Morley

Martyna's Website

 

   We will always remember Martyna Kazmierczak's enchanting playing at our Finchcocks parties.

  She has just launched her own website - make it one of your favourites for regular visits:

 

www.martynakazmierczak.com

Collard & Collard 1835 For Sale

Please see the Sale Page for details of this handsome piano - to be sold as a restoration project.  Our Friend Prof. Olaf van Hees has very kindly offered a few words of praise for these lovely 'later' square pianos:

 

 

"Again an opportunity to acquire a splendid instrument for almost nothing. I just completed a restoration of a Mortimer & Anderson 1836, in fact every millimeter a Collard and Collard. These instruments were already called square grands. This M&A (read C&C) was restored with leather hammer coverings and Malcolm Rose B strings, and to keep it at the safe side, tuned at 415 Valotti.
Beautiful sound and an amazing light action. Test played by Petra Somlai, Bart van Oort and Geoffrey Lancaster, and approved.
At this moment, I’m restoring a Collard & Collard square 1836, a great instrument too. The sound of that period on those mighty instruments. It’s not only the pre-1800 squares that are interesting. The squares of the 1830s are the true instruments of the Romantics!"

Broadwood 1792 Sold

We are happy to say that this lovely piano - one of my favourites - has found a very special new home.  Please see the Sale Page for more details and pictures.

The London Conference - May 28th

‘Made in London’: Makers, designers and innovators in musical instrument making in London, from the 18th to 21st centuries

 

This one-day conference brings together an exciting range of new research examining the making and development of musical instruments in London. Diverse instruments can trace their roots through early London workshops and the pioneering efforts of an enterprising body of innovative and skilful craftsmen.

 We hope to see as many of our Friends there as possible.  

Please see the London Conference page for more details, including the programme of speakers, and to register to attend.

Finchcocks Sale

Catalogue now On-Line

The catalogue for this once-in-a-lifetime sale has been beautifully produced by Dreweatts, and there is nothing more I can add.  Please click the link below.

Making a Spinet - The 1704 Blunt Replica 

  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 case, soundboard, and keyboard are now complete, and the marquetry and calligraphy hane been applied to the nameboard.

  

Please see the Spinet Page for the latest news of this enjoyable project.

Remembering Finchcocks

  This is the time of year when I have usually been busy working on the plans for the Friends of Square Pianos Finchcocks weekend - confirming speakers and the programme, arranging the performances, ensuring practical support, and sending out the invitations and reminders.  

  It seems strange that this is not happening any more, and that there will never again be another 'Finchcocks'.  But this is a time to remember the parties that we enjoyed, and to offer our thanks to Richard and Katrina Burnett for their wonderful creation that gave so much enjoyment to so many for the forty-five years it was open.  We wish them the very best for the next chapter in their lives.  Long may they continue to make, enjoy music, and to encourage young musicians and their interest in early keyboard instruments.  We will keep in touch.

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