Made in 2005, this is a replica instrument of an Anton Walter 1796 Viennese pianoforte. McNulty is a Czech-based American keyboard replica maker. Anton Walter was a Viennese pianoforte maker during the second half of the 18th century, and first part of the 19th century. Walter lived in Vienna during the periods of various composers, including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert (all of whom played his instruments). Walter’s reputation as a pianoforte maker was cemented when Mozart bought an instrument from him in 1784. Beethoven is also known to have commissioned an instrument from Walter that included an una corda pedal, but Walter ignored this request and made his own style of instrument.
This instrument features two knee levers – one to operate the dampers, and one to engage the moderator (similar to the una corda pedal). Walter’s piano also had a back-check, which allowed the instrument to be played as violently as possible with damage to the hammers or strings.
This particular pianoforte was commissioned through the School of Music by Dr Geoffrey Lancaster in 2003, and was completed and entered into the ANU Keyboard Institute in 2005.