The Elegant Erard from The Frederick Collection

Inspired by their past performances on the Frederick Collection's beautifully restored 19th and early 20th c. pianos, the Transcontinental Piano Duo welcomed the opportunity to record four-hand works of Debussy, Ravel, Bizet and Fauré on a French period instrument that was uniquely suited to music of this time. The 1877 Erard heard in this recording offers wonderful insights into the colors and expressive demands of the music by bringing the listener into the original sound world of the composers. The Elegant Erard sparks our imagination, bringing to life the sound as the composers heard it and perhaps opening our ears to alternative ways to approach these familiar works on the modern piano.

Pianos like the 1877 Erard of Paris were described in the firm’s catalog as their “Extra-grand modèle de concert”, even larger than the company’s standard concert grand. First made in 1877, this model of piano – still parallel-strung, with composite metal frame, but with a 90-key compass, GGG to c5 – is basically a larger and fuller-voiced version of the Erards of Chopin’s day. Erard pianos, the official make used by the Paris Conservatoire, were favored by French composers Fauré, Saint-Saëns, and Ravel, as well as by Clara Schumann and Liszt. Much of Debussy’s music was premiered on Erard pianos. Parallel-strung Erard pianos continued to be made into the 1920s, and were preferred by leading concert pianists in Europe.

Order CD

French Piano Four Hands with the Elegant Erard (1877)
The Transcontinental Piano Duo
Elaine Greenfield, Janice Meyer Thompson

Cover of the Erard Piano CD


Play List for the Erard CD

To hear sound samples click on the links below:

1. Claude Debussy Petite Suite En Bateau mp3,wma
10. Georges Bizet Jeux d'enfants (Children's Games), Op. 38 Le Bal mp3,wma
11. Maurice Ravel Ma mère l'Oye (Mother Goose)
Pavane de la Belle as bois dormant mp3,wma
16.Claude Debussy Six Épigraphs Antiques
Pour invoquer Pan, dieu du vent d'été mp3,wma
23. Gabriel FauréDolly Suite, Op. 56 23. Mi-a-ou mp3,wma