Chopin piano identified
By ROBERT BARR, Associated Press Writer
Wed Mar 21, 6:30 PM ET
- 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
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
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.