Sébastien Erard and the firm that carried his name are seminal in the history of musical instruments. Erard's inventions - especially the double escapement for the piano and the double-action for the harp - have had an enormous impact on instruments and musical life and are still at the foundation of piano and harp building today. The recently discovered archives of the Erard piano and harp building firm are perhaps the largest and most complete record of musical instrument making anywhere, containing never-before-published correspondence from musicians including Mendelssohn, Liszt and Fauré. These volumes present the archive's records and documents in two parts, the first relating to inventions, business, composers and performers and the second to the Erard family correspondence. In both the original French and with English translations, the documents offer fascinating insights into the musical landscape of Europe from the start of Erard's career in 1785 to the closure of the firm in 1959.
Contains an abundance of previously unpublished material, including letters from important composers and performers.
Reveals the history of the piano and harp and their development as musical instruments from 1785 to 1959
Includes the original French texts of letters and documents, as well as their translations
Robert Adelson, Musée du Palais Lascaris
Robert Adelson is an organologist and musicologist, and Curator of France's second largest collection of historical musical instruments, housed in the Musée du Palais Lascaris in Nice. He is the author of Women Writing Opera: Creativity and Controversy in the Age of the French Revolution (2001), and a critical edition of the opera Le Mariage d'Antonio by Lucile Grétry (2008).
Alain Roudier, Centre International du Pianoforte
Alain Roudier is a pianist and organologist. Founder and Artistic Director of the Association Ad Libitum/Centre International du Pianoforte in Etobon, France, his books include Sébastien Erard: l'aventure du pianoforte (1995), Sébastien Erard ou la rencontre avec le pianoforte (1993) and Histoires de pianos (1990).
Jenny Nex, Musical Instrument Museums Edinburgh
Jenny Nex is an organologist and musician, and Curator of the Musical Instrument Museums in Edinburgh.
Laure Barthel is a historian of the harp. She is the author of Au coeur de la harpe au XVIIIe siècle (2005).
Michel Foussard, Ministère de la Culture
Michel Foussard, musicologist and organologist, recently retired as expert for instrumental cultural heritage, Ministère de la Culture (1999–2008). Prior to that he served as Directeur de l'Association Culturelle des Alpes Méridionales (Conseil Général des Alpes-Maritimes) (1987–95), and curator of the historical musical instrument collection of the city of Nice (1975–87).