Fortepiano played by Mozart found?

Instrument surfaces in Germany

A piano that may have been played by Mozart has been found in southern Germany.

The instrument surfaced after its owner, piano manufacturer Martin Becker, decided to auction it on eBay.

Music historian Andreas Beuermann spotted the early keyboard. ‘[I] had a hunch that it could be the same long-lost instrument that Mozart played whenever he was in Strasbourg,’ he told the German public broadcaster SWR.

Built in 1775 by Christian Baumann, the fortepiano is one of only eight surviving examples of the craftsman’s work. Mozart appears to have been a fan of Baumann’s instruments, mentioning them in a letter to his father. However his preferred pianos were by the makers Johann Andreas Stein and Anton Walter.

One of the clues to the instrument’s identity lies in a Viennese oil painting. In the picture, Haydn – one of Mozart’s contemporaries – is depicted playing what appears to be this fortepiano.

Experts are reported to be examining the piano to see if they can determine whether or not it was the one played by Mozart. 

Rebecca Franks

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