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It is known that J.S.Bach was acquainted with the fortepiano at least twice in his life, in 1726 when he played one of Silbermann's experimental models (and mildly criticized it), and toward the end during his famous visit to Potsdam, where he supposedly got the inspiration for the Musical Offering. It is further known that the mysterious instrument that appeared at the Zimmermann café around the time that Bach was director of the Collegium Musicum was some sort of "louder" or otherwise more powerful clavier built in Berlin, suitable for outdoor performances.

Is it possible that this unspecified instrument might have been some form of early fortepiano like the ones Silbermann was working on at the time? Are there any recordings of Bach's keyboard concertos (which he wrote for this instrument) on the fortepiano?

  • I think any answer to this question would be mere speculation. It is interesting, though. – Shannon Duncan Jan 23 '18 at 18:22
  • Indeed, I am expecting an answer that can offer state-of-the-art viewpoints on this matter, and possibly even a personal opinion, certainly not a definitive yes/no answer. The intent was at least to spark discussion. (Though I am still looking for recordings of the concertos on fortepianos) – giobrach Jan 23 '18 at 20:14

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