Frank Hollinga, Reconstruction of Bartolomeo Cristofori's 1720 pianoforte
Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1732) invented the piano around 1700 in Italy. The ‘gravecembalo col piano, e forte‘. Only three pianos of him survive nowadays, respectively from the years 1720, 1722 and 1726.
The piano from 1720, currently preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is the oldest surviving piano in the world but which has also been altered several times throughout the past three centuries.
My master project is the reconstruction of the 1720 piano to how it might have been originally. Framed in the historical context, in-depth analysis of the original, together with extensive comparisons with Cristofori’s other extant instruments, I’ve reconstructed the 1720 piano to two different hypothesis.
Cristofori was an incredibly inventive instrument maker. He experimented with many details along his lifetime to perfect playability and sound. With the search for a new instrument he opened a new field of expressive capabilities.