Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Masterpiece of the Week: Victoria and Albert’s Magnificent Piano, 1856

Piano, 1856
Gilt Mahogany, Ormolu, Paint, Satinwood, Pine
S. & P. Erard
Presented to Queen Victoria
The Royal Collection

Ever-united, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were aficionados of fine music and both, by all accounts, played the piano beautifully. They enjoyed playing together as well as taking turns accompanying while the other sang. For them, the piano was the centerpiece of the home.

In 1856, this magnificent gilt piano was presented to the queen by its makers, S. and P. Erard. The piano is largely composed of gilt, painted and varnished mahogany with ormolu adornments and an interior of satinwood and pine. Queen Victoria selected the ornaments and painted scenes herself.

The piano has recently been restored. Would you like to hear it played? Here are 
some selections performed by Howard Shelley and Hilary MacNamara on the restored piano. 

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