On the 'Stein vis-à-vis': Sonatas, Preludes & fugues, Dances for for-hand piano
A century of keyboards on a single instrument!
Nearly 80 years after the invention of the fortepiano, the harpsichord was by no means relegated to antique status. On the contrary, the two instruments cohabited throughout the 18th century, to the point where several makers strove to combine them in a single entity! The most incredible of these 'mutants' is probably the extravagant Vis-à-vis built by Johann Andreas Stein in 1777: at one end there is a three-manual harpsichord, at the other a fortepiano with ‘moderator’ stop. Only two specimens of this instrument still exist today. With its extraordinarily wide range of timbres and dynamics, it enables Andreas Staier and Christine Schornsheim to renew our conception of Mozart's works for piano duet.