ROSEMARY FLE TCHER PHOTOGRAPHY
LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION | MASONRY | MAINTENANCE
R.P. MARZILLI & CO., INC. | (508) 533-8700 | 21-A TROTTER DRIVE | MEDWAY, MA 02053
SI TECREATIVE LANDSCAPE ARCHITEC TURE | GREG PREMRU PHOTOGRAPHY
Regier looks at home. “This is all Beethoven
would’ve known,” he says, playing a short
song on the compact, 1700s-inspired instrument. The sound is gentle and, like its brainy
artisan creator, confident, sober, and clear.
In the 40 years he’s made early pianos,
Regier says, “they’ve become legitimized
in the musical world, rather than remaining
curiosities. You see them at Lincoln Center
for Mostly Mozart, and that’s something that
would’ve been unimaginable 30 years ago,” he
says, referring to the annual summer music
festival in New York City. As one of a handful
of early-piano makers in the country, Regier is
partly responsible for that renaissance.
The demand for these rare instruments,
coupled with the painstaking and time-consuming art of crafting them, means there is a
waiting list. With one assistant, Regier completes just two fortepianos a year, each one
customized to fit the player, the home interior, the intention.
“They have to be winged shaped because
of the strings,” says Regier, but the similar-ities to modern pianos end there. For one
piece, he has built thick oval legs to comple-
regier does use mechanical tools to craft his fortepianos, but, he says, “we are
woodworkers more than machine operators,” and he makes certain that the last marks
on each piece of wood are from hand tools, not machines. He uses old-growth timber
from large walnut, cherry, and spruce trees, some 150 to 200 years old, for his pianos.
“To get the architectural scale for the pattern,” he says, “you need a big tree.”