Johann Zahler fortepiano, ca. 1805 (all photos by Michael Lodico)
Wanckel and Temmler, ca. 1845 (notice that the strings do not cross)
Wilderom found the Zahler instrument in not-so-good shape in the Czech Republic and indeed had to “warp it back” into condition. In addition to its visual beauty, the aural results of the restoration include a tone that is light, yet deep, a superb clarity of sound, and the possibility of absolute pianissimos with or without the modulator (soft-pedal). It is no wonder that Wilderom is hesitant to let the instrument go. Wilderom’s Opus 1, a circa 1805 5-octave (FF-g3) copy of an Anton Walter instrument in a private Prague collection, is also on display.
The Festival van Vlaanderen's Brugge Musica Antiqua continues through August 8th and includes among many things the various early music competitions, a harpsichord performance by Gustav Leonhardt on July 31, and a semi-staged production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo by La Venexiana on August 4, exactly 400 years to the day after its premiere. See the Ionarts reviews of recent performances of Orfeo in Aix-en-Provence and Siena.