Forum Posts

Robert Adelson
May 24, 2022
In General Discussions
Dear colleagues, Maria Cleary has just published a fascinating and important preliminary report about the recently discovered harp method (1774) by Michel Corrette. The full citation of the article is: Cleary, Maria Christina. “The Rediscovery of the Nouvelle Méthode Pour Apprendre à Jouer De La Harpe by Michel Corrette.” Eighteenth Century Music 19, no. 1 (2022): 88–90. doi:10.1017/S1478570621000348. For those without library access to this Cambridge University Press journal, the first page can be consulted here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/eighteenth-century-music/article/abs/rediscovery-of-the-nouvelle-methode-pour-apprendre-a-jouer-de-la-harpe-by-michel-corrette/04DC98AD06AAB904F6F87D3A90974E25 In her report, Maria notes that she is working on a more comprehensive article of the method, as well as a translation and recording of the music contained therein; all of which will be of great interest to scholars of the early pedal harp. Kind regards, Robert Adelson Conservatoire de Nice/Université Côte d'Azur
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Robert Adelson
Mar 19, 2021
In General Discussions
Dear colleagues, I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, Erard: A Passion for the Piano (Oxford University Press, 2021). This is the first of my two monographs on the history of the Erard firm; a second on the Erard harp is in preparation. Here is a brief description of the book from the publisher’s website: Sébastien Erard's (1752-1831) inventions have had an enormous impact on instruments and musical life and are still at the foundation of piano building today. Drawing on an unusually rich set of archives from both the Erard firm and the Erard family, author Robert Adelson shows how the Erard piano played an important and often leading role in the history of the instrument, beginning in the late eighteenth century and continuing into the final decades of the nineteenth. The Erards were the first piano builders in France to prioritise the more sonorous grand piano, sending gifts of their new model to both Haydn and Beethoven. Erard's famous double-escapement action, which improved the instrument's response while at the same time producing a more powerful tone, revolutionised both piano construction and repertoire. Thanks to these inventions, the Erard firm developed close relationships with the greatest pianist composers of the nineteenth century, including Hummel, Liszt, Moscheles and Mendelssohn. The book also presents new evidence concerning Pierre Erard's homosexuality, which helps us to understand his reluctance to found a family to carry on the Erard tradition, a reluctance that would spell the end of the golden era of the firm and lead to its eventual demise. The book closes with the story of Pierre's widow Camille, who directed the firm from 1855 until 1889. Her influential position in the male-dominated world of instrument building was unique for a woman of her time. A short essay on the demise of the Erard firm can be found on the Oxford University Press blog: https://blog.oup.com/2021/03/family-secrets-and-the-demise-of-erard-pianos-and-harps/ Thank you to everyone who supported my work during the years it took me to write this book. Kind regards, Robert Adelson Professor of Organology and Music History Conservatoire de Nice-Université Côte d'Azur
New Erard book content media
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Robert Adelson
May 23, 2019
In General Discussions
Dear colleagues, I am currently studying the phenomenon of harp makers who collected instruments (their own—for example, by preserving prototype models—or by other makers), even if these were not always acknowledged as 'collections' per se. I am aware of collections maintained by Erard, Pleyel, Salvi and Camac. I would be interested if in the course of your research any of you have encountered other makers who also collected. Kind regards, Robert
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Robert Adelson
Feb 01, 2019
In General Discussions
Dear colleagues, Might anyone have any information on a Thomas Hamilton (or member of his family) who lived near Glasgow in the period 1810-1820? I am studying a harp that belonged to him, and thought that perhaps his name might appear in some of your databases or research notes. Thanks in advance for your help. Kind regards, Robert
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