Now available on DVD, this video gives early music lovers a chance to see and hear remarkable pianoforte performances on instruments ranging from the world's oldest surviving piano to a new Bösendorfer computer grand. The program describes amazing discoveries, for example, that Bach used the pianoforte in public performance much earlier than previously thought. Pianists Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Jörg Demus, Gerlinde Otto, Hans Kann, Rudolf Scholz, and others play more than 30 instruments, featuring musical works on pianos concurrent with the period. Simultaneously entertaining, amusing, informative, and artistically gratifying, The History of the Pianoforte is a landmark.
Those who have attempted the dauntingly abstract task of reconstructing the piano's early history can be grateful for this enlightening contribution by musicologist Eva Badura-Skoda, enhanced by the performances and commentary of her husband, Paul. The Badura-Skodas have impressive credentials to undertake this project, and their extensive knowledge of the subject is matched by an obvious, impassioned enthusiasm. ~College Music Symposium