Unicum museum’s collection of pianos

I would like to share some information about an interesting and phenomenal museum in the Czech Republic. In the small city of Vyskov lives a “fanatic” for old and special instruments.

The collection now has 60 different historical woodwind instruments.

You can see the historical evolution of instruments with Viennese mechanics and English mechanics from the 18th century until now. The museum would to like present the life of normal people in the 18th and 19th centuries too. Pianos are common in households. People spend beautiful moments with their children playing pianos. Playing the piano was a normal activity in some pubs, clubs and exclusive restaurants. In the museum are, for example, grand pianos, upright pianos and some ratites – pianos in cabinets, in dressing-tables or portable pianos in suitcases. The unicum collection includes harpsichords and special reproduction pianos.

For the curator pianos like work of art or a combination of fine craftsmanship and musical art, which is fascinating.

The reproduction piano – a technical miracle

This kind of piano comes from the 20th century. Inside this piano has special and precision mechanics. With these mechanics it is possible to replay songs of very famous composers who died before the invention of the gramophone. I think that modern reproduction technology is not able to replay piano songs like real woodwind instruments. The sound is recorded on special paper rolls. The roll is inserted in to the piano and after that you can enjoy very nice “live music”. In the museum’s collection are four pianos of this kind and 500 paper rolls with songs of composers like Rachmaninov, Debussy, Saint-Saens and Grieg.

The curator organizes regular concerts with special commentary about composers and their lives.

Public concert

In the museum, public concerts with pianist and singers, are common. The concerts have various topics e.g. “Baroque in music”, “The romantic piano”, “The modern improvisation”. The curator cooperates with musical-arts schools, conservators and other performers.

I would like to invite you to this very interesting display, because I think that it is unique and very interesting for everybody who wants to enrich their general knowledge.

If you know more information about this please let me know on my e-mail: alena.bercikova@gmail.com

Alena, Intermediate A

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