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Frederic Chopin piano identified
By ROBERT BARR, Associated Press Writer
Wed Mar 21, 6:30 PM ET
LONDON - A French-made piano that Frederic Chopin brought to London late in his life has been identified in a collection in England, the owner of the instrument said Wednesday.

The piano built by the Paris company of Camille Pleyel, Chopin's favored piano-maker, is in the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands, an assemblage of antique keyboard instruments housed in an 18th century house southwest of London, Alec Cobbe said.

He said the connection was established a year ago by leading Chopin scholar Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger of the Geneva Conservatoire, but it wasn't publicly disclosed until this week by the Sunday Times newspaper.

Cobbe said he is aware of only three other surviving Pleyel pianos known to have been used by Chopin.

Chopin had three pianos in his flat in London — the Pleyel and instruments by the English maker John Broadwood and the French maker Erard. A different Broadwood piano, made in 1847 and used by Chopin for three recitals in London, is also in the Cobbe collection.

Chopin sold the Pleyel in 1848, and it stayed in the family of Margaret Trotter, his friend and possibly his pupil, until the 1970s.

A photo released to Reuters on March 21, 2007 shows a grand piano belonging to British collector Alec Cobbe. By its serial number, a scholar was able to identify Cobbe's piano as the one Frederic Chopin brought to Britain on a farewell tour in 1848. REUTERS/John Challis/The Cobbe Collection Trust/Handout

Cobbe said he bought the piano because he was looking for a Pleyel of Chopin's time. Eigeldinger identified the connection a year ago after gaining access to the Pleyel firm's ledgers, which are now privately owned, Cobbe said.

The Cobbe collection also includes an English pianoforte that Johann Christian Bach took to France, pianos owned by Edward Elgar and Gustav Mahler, and an upright piano borrowed by Franz Liszt in Italy.


On the Net:

Cobbe Collection: http://www.cobbecollection.co.uk

Yahoo! News - Wed Mar 21, 6:30 PM ET

Frederic Chopin piano identified

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