PÉDALE HARMONIQUE

“It has added so much to our ‘old’ grand piano, and opens up so many new possibilities. Thank you for your gift to the world of piano playing.

Martha Argerich (Swiss-Argentinian pianist)

Demonstration of the 4th Pedal (“Pédale Harmonique“) by Paul Barton

In cooperation with Stephen Paulello and Denis de La Rochefordière, FEURICH have come up with a totally ground-breaking and unique innovation in the world of piano building. The fourth pedal offers access to a new world of sound for acoustic grand pianos. Using the pedal is simple and very intuitive.

 

Chopin “Prelude 3“––demonstration of the harmonic pedal by Paul Barton

The System

The Pédale Harmonique combines three different functions in one pedal––sustain, sympathetic resonance, and sostenuto. Using the pedal is very straightforward and can be enjoyed by beginners as much as professional pianists.

When the pedal is depressed completely, the piano’s dampers are raised and the notes will ring out––just like the usual sustain pedal on the right of a grand piano. When the pedal is depressed halfway, all the dampers are raised again. However, now the dampers of any note played and released will fall back to touch the string. The dampers remain up for all unplayed notes, creating overtones and sympathetic resonance between the strings.

The Pédale Harmonique can be used to create unique and new tone colours. This new world of sound allows the pianist to add a personalised touch to the classical repertoire and interpret pieces in new ways.

 

Carl Orff “O Fortuna“––Paul Barton, FEURICH 218 – Concert I with “Pédale Harmonique“

Development

In 1985, Denis de La Rochefordière laid the foundation of the idea to create this new sonic world for upright and grand pianos––the idea for the fourth pedal was born. After building many different prototypes, the renowned French pianist Georges Pludermacher had a Pédale Harmonique installed on a Steinway grand, and decided to record several CDs of music with it, including works by Schubert and Beethoven.

In 2006, we installed a prototype of the Pédale Harmonique on a FEURICH grand piano, and exhibited it at the Frankfurt Music Fair and also at the Europiano Congress. The trade press reacted with great excitement at the introduction of this new innovation. With the help of the respected piano builder Stephen Paulello and Claire Pichet, our team worked tirelessly to develop the idea until ready for serial production. In 2011, the serial production version of the Pédale Harmonique was finally patented.

 

Albeniz “Asturiaz“ (Leyenda)––Paul Barton, FEURICH 218 – Concert I with “Pédale Harmonique“

Erik Satie “3 Gymnopédies“––Paul Barton, FEURICH 218 – Concert I with “Pédale Harmonique“

Saint-Saëns “Danse Macabre“––Paul Barton, FEURICH 218 – Concert I with “Pédale Harmonique“