Anton Walter Fortepiano - By John D. Lyon

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The fortepiano by John Lyon is a composite of extant fortepianos in Salzburg, Linz and Eisenstadt by Anton Walter, a Viennese maker active between 1790 and 1820. The term “copy” is as ambiguous as “historical demonstration.” Each original piano represents a differing answer to an aesthetic desire. Mr. Lyon’s reproduction copies Walter’s “answer to an aesthetic desire” in the five-octave plus two notes compass (FF to g3), the Viennese action, the stringing scale, the knee pedal mechanism, and the design of the case and its reinforcement. A feature such as the blocks for supporting the damper rail when removing the action represents a 20th century concession to convenience.

Anton Walter

The re-covering of the wooden core of the treble hammers that I have done – and re-done many times over – is a further re-interpretation affecting the tone one can draw from the piano. The hammers in this segment of the compass are covered with sheepskin, producing, with adjustment for tightness and light ironing of the surface, a brighter sound than deerskin in this register. This instrument illustrates the term "style-copy" as opposed to "work-copy" (an exact replica) as used by Bruce Haynes in his book, The End of Early Music -- A Period Performer's History of Music for the Twenty-First Century.

Deer Skin Hammers