Alexander Melnikov

Here’s a great idea; matching four monuments of the repertoire with four instruments of the period – virtuoso pieces that stretched the pianos of the day to the extremes of their expressive possibilities.

Previous performances of Schubert’s Wanderer-Fantasieon fortepianos have usually resulted in 20 minutes of clatter in C Major, but not so here; Melnikov’s lovely Graff from the late 1820s has a richer sound but still retains the nutty bass and tangy treble of the earlier models. He draws such colours from the different registers and moderator pedal as to orchestrate the piece – the plummy baritone like a portly bassoon.

Chopin’s Op. 10 Étudesplayed on restorer Edwin Beunk’s 1837...