Ernst Irmler 1852 – 1854, signed “F. Liszt 1856”
|Date:||1852 - 1854|
This elegant fortepiano by Ernst Irmler was built in Leipzig between 1852 and 1854 and is a very interesting example of an instrument that was still very traditionally made. Its construction is very close to the Viennese fortepiano making from the 1830s. The instrument is also of particular interest as it has a handwritten signature from the famous composer and pianist Franz Liszt (1811 –1886).
The harpsichord-shaped case of the instrument is made of rosewood and rests on three turned legs. A decorative strip with an egg stick pattern is attached around it. The nameboard is signed with:
“Ernst Irmler jun.
The keyboard is made of ivory and ebony, the hammers are covered with leather and the fortepiano has 3 metal bars that are painted black with floral ornaments. The compass is 6 octaves plus sixth (CC – a4), Viennese Action, the serial number: 2464. The instrument is triple strung (bass double strung). It also has got two pedals for controlling the dampers and una corda.
There is a handwritten signature by the composer and pianist Franz Liszt, which came to light during the cleaning process – “F. Liszt 1856”. In the 19th century it was sometimes common for pianists to immortalize themselves on the instrument they played after a concert. So, there are some surviving instruments that are signed, for example, by Franz Liszt, Sigismund Thalberg (1812 – 1871) or Ignaz Moscheles (1794 – 1870). In 1856 Franz Liszt stayed in Weimar. It can be assumed that he played the instrument there.
The I. G. Irmler company manufactured square and upright pianos and also grands from their beginning in1818 and enjoyed a high reputation. The instruments were excellently crafted and were very much appreciated. Far less known (but no less qualitative) are the instruments of Ernst Irmler, a close relative who manufactured instruments under his name in Leipzig from around 1850.
Little is known about Ernst Irmler so far. He first worked in the family business to become a piano maker. He later sat up his own business and made pianos in Leipzig under his own name. He was active from around 1850 to 1879.
Other preserved instruments made by Ernst Irmler:
- 1852 – 1854 Grand Piano – Michaelstein Monastery Collection, Blankenburg Germany
- 1853 Square Piano – Deutsches Museum, Munich Germany
|Circumference:||6 octaves plus sixth (CC - a4)|
|Pedals:||2 Pedals (dampers & una corda)|
„Ernst Irmler jun.
"F. Liszt 1856"