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The Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda has made history by performing on an instrument which hasn't been heard for a hundred years - the pedal-piano.
Prosseda made his stunning performance debut on the long-lost instrument in September in the Cathedral of Forlì. Not only was this Prosseda's debut on the pedal-piano, but the concert also saw the first modern performance of a concerto for pedal-piano and orchestra by French composer Charles Gounod who wrote the piece in 1889. The programme also included the première of contemporary Italian composer Cristian Carrara’s Magnificat (2011) for pedal-piano and orchestra.
The pedal-piano, also called the piano-pédalier, Pedalflügel or pianoforte con pedaliera, is a particular model of piano with a pedal-board like that of the organ. The likes of Bach, Mozart and Robert Schumann have all composed music for the instrument in some form and it was Schumann who persuaded Felix Mendelssohn to set up a specific class for the instrument at the Conservatory in Leipzig. It has also often been used by organists as a "study" instrument.
We've got footage of Roberto Prosseda performing the entire Gounod Concerto for piano-pédalier and orchestra with the Orchestra Toscanini di Parma conducted by Jan Latham-Koenig. Watch the performance below -
1. Allegro -
3. Adagio ma non troppo
4. Allegro pomposo