Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/720

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708

��STEIN.

��STEIN, a family of pianoforte makers and players.

i. JOHANN ANDREAS, the founder of German pianoforte-making, was born at Heidesheim in the Palatinate in 1728. Nothing is known of his early life, but he appears to have been in Paris in 1758, and to have remained there for some years. We may conclude that he was engaged in organ -building and harpsichord- making, since he was not only a good musician, but a proficient in both handicrafts, before he turned to pianoforte-making. After Paris we find him at Augsburg, organist of the Barfusserkirche, the famous organ of which he built, as well as that of the Kreuzkirche. When the article PIANOFORTE was written special enquiries were made in Vienna and elsewhere, to discover any pianoforte remaining of Stein's make, but without success. These enquiries, however, led to the discovery of a grand piano, which was secured by M. Vic- tor Mahillon, of the Museum of the Conservatoire, Brussels. It is inscribed

Jean Andre" Stein Facteur d'orgues et des Clavecins Organiste a 1'Egliae des Minorites Augsbourg 1780. 1

The action of this bichord grand piano is the same as that in Fig. 10, p. 718, vol. ii. of this Dictionary, which was copied from a scarce pamphlet preserved in the Library of the Gesell- schaft der Musikfreunde at Vienna. The wedge damper is Cristofori's ; the escapement and other parts of the action differ entirely from that maker's and from Gottfried Silbermann's as preserved in three instruments at Potsdam, in which the Florentine maker Cristofori is closely followed. This instrument has also the genou- illi&re or knee-pedal for raising the dampers, which preceded the foot-pedal. [See SORDINI.] The genouilliere and Stein's escapement are de- scribed by Mozart with great gusto in a letter addressed to his mother, in October 1777, only a very few years before M. Mahillon's piano was made. What action was used by Spaeth of Ratisbon, also referred to by Mozart, we do not know, but M. Mahillon's recent discovery at Brussels of a square piano, with the rudiments of Stein's action that is, the same centred per- cussion without the hopper escapement leads directly to the conclusion that this simple action, clumsy as Mozart found it without the escape- ment, was in common use before Stein brought his inventive genius to bear upon its improvement.

Welcker von Gontershausen (' Der Clavierbau,' Frankfort 1870, p. 173) gives a drawing of this action without hopper escapement, attributing it to Silbermann ; but, as far as we can see, without proof. Many of the early German pianos have neither date or inscription, which makes the at- tribution to a maker difficult. We are disposed to think that Silbermann would not have aban- doned the good action of Cristofori, which he knew how to finish well, for a crude tentative mechanism ; we therefore conclude that the Seven Years War having entirely stamped out Saxon

1 The last figure is indistinct, and M. Mahillon thinks that it might be 5 or 6 instead of 0.

��STEIN.

pianoforte-making, a new era began with the restoration of peace, and that the merit of founding that German pianoforte-making which was so long identified with the School of Vienna, belongs to Stein, whose inventive talent and artistic devotion were displayed in the good instruments he made, which, by 1790 at latest, were adopted as models both in North and South Germany, as the two grand pianos formerly be- longing to Queen Louise, made by Huhn, ' Organ- builder' of Berlin, 2 and preserved in memory of her at Potsdam, unmistakeably show.

Gerber, in his Lexicon, has preserved a list of numerous inventions by Stein ; of which none are now of value save the escapement and the key- board shifting by means of a pedal. He intro- duced the latter in his ' Saitenharmonica ' in 1789, carrying the hammers from three strings to one, which he spaced rather away from the other two unisons. This * una corda ' he named ' Spinettchen.' Mr. Thayer 3 has unearthed a record of Pastor Junker, showing that Beethoven in 1791, when residing at Bonn, always used an instrument of Stein's.

Stein died in 1792, leaving two sons, Mat- thaus Andreas and Friedrich (see below), and a daughter, Maria Anna, known as NANETTE, who in 1794 married Streicher, and was really the most prominent of the group.

Though Streicher ultimately succeeded to the business, which had been removed from Augsburg to Vienna, his name does not appear for several years in connection with it. [See footnote to PIANOFORTE, p. 718 a.] The firm as late as 1801 was ' Geschwister Stein ' ; subsequently ' Nannette Stein ' only, which appears as the maker's name on a grand pianoforte with six pedals, existing (1882) in Windsor Castle. For the continuation of the Stein business see STREICHER. [A. J.H.] 2. MARIA ANNA, or NANETTE STEIN, was born Jan. 2, 1 769, at Augsburg. When barely 8 she played to Mozart on his visit to Augsburg in 1777, and, in spite of the bad habits she had contracted, he said of her ' She may do yet, for she has genius' (Jahn, i. 368). Her talent and capacity were so obvious that her father early initiated her into the details of his business, and on his death, Feb. 29, 1792, she carried it on, in conjunction with her brother Matthaus Andreas, with a decision and energy almost masculine. In 1 793 she married Johann Andreas STREICHER, an excellent pianist and teacher from Stuttgart, and then she, her husband, and mother, moved to Vienna. The new firm of ' Nanette and An- dreas Stein' (constituted by Imperial decree Jan. 17, 1794) established itself in the house where it still remains, the ' Bed Rose,' No. 301 in the Landstrasse suburb. In 1812 the factory was removed to premises of their own, which had been rebuilt and enlarged some years before, No. 27 in the Ungargasse. In 1802 the brother and sister dissolved partnership, each setting up

2 One of these instruments, and apparently the older one, bears no name outside, but internal examination shows that the maker was the same who made the 1790 one ; both closely resemble Mozart's piano by Walther, at Salzburg, and the original model by Stein of 1780. 3- Beethoven/ i. 209-215.

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