However unusual or even bizzarre it may seem, the idea of a piano endowed with a pedalboard similar to that of an organ actually has a long history behind it. Its antecedents are the clavichord and the harpsichord with single or double keyboard, which also often had a pedalboard attached.
Johann Sebastian Bach owned a clavichord with two keyboards and pedalboard for which he composed the Trio Sonata BWV 525-530, the Passacaglia in C minor BWV 582 and other works. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart owned a fortepiano with independent pedals, built expressly for him in 1785 by Anton Walter. The instrument Robert Schumann refers to as a pedalflügel (piano with pedalboard) first entered his home in Dresden in 1845. He was also able to convince F.
Mendelssohn Bartholdy to inaugurate a class especially for the pedalflügel in the Conservatorium of Leipzig. There are various systems with which a pedalboard was attached to the piano: the most common was that of a pedalboard fastened under the piano that activated its mechanics-keyboard; another System, though less frequent, was that of placing two independent pianos (each with its separate mechanics and strings).
At the end of this last century the piano-maker Luigi Borgato realized a new instrument, the "DOPPIO BORGATO": a double piano of extensive form, joining a concert-grand together with a second piano activated by a pedalboard comprised of 37 pedals, thus augmenting the expressive qualities of its 18th century predecessors.
The DOPPIO BORGATO opens up a new page for the musical world, this particular instrument offering new possibilities to both composers and interpreters.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.