A special concert was performed recently on a fortepiano that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played almost every day for nearly a decade. Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov had the honour of playing the instrument in front of a small audience at Mozart’s former house in Vienna, where the piano has temporarily returned for the first time in 200 years.
It was made by Anton Walter – the leading instrument maker at the time – and purchased by Mozart after moving to Vienna in 1781.
During Mozart’s lifetime the instrument inspired him to write over 50 compositions. And it impressed the concert-goers of 18th century Vienna. After Mozart’s death, the piano stayed in his family and even travelled to Milan where his son lived.
Despite being restored twenty years ago, the piano requires the hand of a master to play it correctly.
The concert hall in the basement of the house offers excellent acoustics but only has room for about 150 people. In spite of that, fans from all over the world managed to get tickets for this special event.
The piano is normally housed at the Mozart Museum in Salzburg, where it is part of the permanent exhibition.