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The flagship pianos of the 19th century
For Frédéric Chopin, Pleyel pianos - like the one exhibited in the music room of the Villa du Temps Retrouvé in Cabourg - were the best in the world. The Polish composer who arrived in Paris in 1831 appreciated their crystalline but mellow timbre and the slightly veiled Argentinian sonority described by Liszt. At the dawn of the 1830s, Paris, then nicknamed Pianopolis, was the flagship city of a booming keyboard craftsmanship. There were more than a hundred piano makers who patented their innovations and snapped up the most remarkable pianists of their generation. The Pleyel house, founded in 1807, had produced 100,000 pianos in 1889.
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