Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Despite its immense popularity in the worlds of both classical music and pop culture, Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations is actually not a work that is regularly performed or recorded. A seminal statement of Baroque keyboard composition, the sprawling, seventy-minute collection of an aria and thirty variations remains a heralded benchmark of technical virtuosity and musical intelligence for which few pianists confidently rise to the occasion. Even soloist Jeremy Denk, one of the most respected pianists on the global concert circuit today, remarked that "the Goldberg Variations have caused me more misery than any other piece of music in history . . ." However, New York audiences have a chance to encounter this masterwork right here at the Met on November 21, when pianist Christopher Taylor presents The Goldberg Variations: The Double Manual Experience in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.
Posted: Monday, September 29, 2014
As September and National Piano Month come to an end, the Department of Musical Instruments wraps up its series of posts highlighting some of the most important pianos from The Metropolitan Museum of Art—home to one of the most comprehensive collections of historic pianos to be found anywhere in the world. After showcasing the work of Erard & Co., Joseph Böhm, Conrad Graf, Nunns & Clark, Johann Schmidt, and Carl Bechstein in previous installments, the celebration finishes with five final examples of pianos from the Museum's collection—including the oldest extant piano in the world.
Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
In honor of National Piano Month, the Department of Musical Instruments continues its series of posts highlighting some of the most important, unusual, and visually interesting pianos from The Metropolitan Museum of Art—home to one of the most important and comprehensive collections of historic pianos to be found anywhere in the world. After exploring the craftsmanship of Erard & Co., Joseph Böhm, F. Beale & Co., John Geib and Son, and Conrad Graf in the first installment, the survey continues with five more examples of historic pianos from the Museum's collection.
Posted: Friday, September 19, 2014
The piano has been an integral part of Western music since the late eighteenth century. Although invented around the year 1700, it took several decades before the instrument had become a favorite of composers and performers alike. The piano underwent enormous change in its first 150 years, and the two regional schools of instrument makers—located in Vienna and London—gave musicians a large choice of pianos with differing tonal characteristics. Versions of the instrument eventually developed that were space-efficient, first the square piano and later the upright, which allowed it to find its way into middle-class homes.
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014
February 3 marks the birthday of nineteenth-century German composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847). A prolific composer, Mendelssohn wrote pieces for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo piano.
Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014
On January 27, 1756, the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. One of the many musical instrument treasures in the collection at the Museum is a pedal piano attributed to the workshop of Johann Schmidt of Salzburg, Mozart's hometown. Schmidt was a friend of Mozart's father, Leopold, and may have helped him secure the job of court organ and instrument maker in Salzburg.
Posted: Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Last Tuesday, we unlocked the doors of the Musical Instruments galleries, which had been closed for an eight-month hiatus while roof work was performed on the American Wing side of our galleries. During that time we refreshed the appearance of the European instrument gallery. A new paint job, better internal case lighting, reframed case doors, and a redefined arrangement of the display now offers our visitors an enhanced experience of the instruments.