D'après Frère et Soeur Stein is the signature label of the fortepiano replicas by Sietse Kok.
The instruments are based on a unique and exquisite 1802 Viennese original signed by the Geschwister Stein and restored by Sietse Kok.
The story of D'après Frère et Soeur Stein
Il était une fois... Once upon a time...
The story of the replica label D'après Frère et Soeur Stein starts in 2005 with the discovery of an original Viennese fortepiano, signed and dated February 2, 1802. This inscription was uncovered at the beginning of the restoration process. It revealed that the instrument was build in the workshop of the Geschwister Stein in Vienna, at a time that Nannette Streicher (born Stein, married to fellow musician Andreas Streicher) was associated with her brother André Stein.
The original instrument has a keyboard compass of five-and-half octaves (FF to c4). It is the earliest surviving five-and-half octave fortepiano from the builders Frère et Soeur Stein. The keyboard compass of this instrument exceeds the keyboard size of other Viennese fortepianos we know from that period. More information is available on the Stein 1802 project website (see below).
The year 1802 was a tumultuous one in the lives of the Stein-Streicher family, and also extremely significative for Ludwig van Beethoven, with whom they maintained close ties. In this year, Beethoven published his famous sonata Opus 27.2, later known as the Moonlight Sonata. And his famous Heiligenstadt letter is from the same period. Musical life, composition and piano building were impacted by the events of this crucial year, which left deep marks in the music and the arts of the XIXth and XXth centuries.
With the discovery of this original Stein instrument, a research project was born. The original fortepiano was restored by Sietse Kok during a unique process involving research and the simultaneous building of an exact replica. The process allowed to confirm several theoretical bases which were essential for the restoration of the original.
The fortepiano replicas by Sietse Kok
Sietse Kok crafts replicas which are a direct result of the Stein 1802 restoration project. The new instruments reflect the exquisite sound quality of the original 1802 instrument made by the Geschwister Stein. The keyboard mechanic has the same flexibility and touch as the original, preserving the characteristics of Nannette Streicher's hallmark signature.
The replicas are available in different sizes: in five-and-a-half as well as six octaves. Custom finishes are designed on demand.
All replicas by Sietse Kok are made with respect of the original concept. They carry the nameplate signature D'après Frère et Soeur Stein.
Frère et Soeur Stein d'Augsbourg à Vienne
Frère et Soeur Stein d'Augsbourg à Vienne is the nameplate signature of the Viennese piano builders Geschwister Stein, led by Nannette Stein and her brother Matthäus Andreas (André), children of the famous instrument maker Joh. Andreas Stein of Augsburg. Father J.A. Stein was a great organ builder and the designer of several combination instruments. He was a pupil of Silbermann and started making fortepianos in Augsburg around 1750. The development of the Prellzungen mechanic is attributed to him.
From an early age, Nannette Stein was trained in her father's Augsburg workshop. She was an extremely gifted musician. At her father's death she took the lead of business, and continued building pianos with her younger brother Matthäus Andreas. She married musician and piano teacher Andreas Streicher and in 1794 relocated the company to Vienna.
The Frère et Soeur Stein fortepianos carry the strong heritage of the Stein family and are built in the tradition of excellence for which Joh. Andreas Stein was widely acclaimed and respected. At the end of the 18th century, the Stein siblings were among the best and finest keyboard instrument makers in Vienna and in Europe, combining outstanding craftsmanship and musicality.
The Stein-Streicher family stood at the forefront of the development of the Viennese pianoforte in the early 1800s and had a great impact on musical life in Vienna. The Stein siblings went their separate ways in the second half of 1802, each continuing to build pianos under their own name.
In 1812, Nannette Streicher and her husband Andreas inaugurated a large music salon which gained international fame. It was attended by composers, professional musicians, talented amateurs and connaisseurs.
Do you wish to learn more about the 1802 original and its significance for the works of Ludwig van Beethoven?
A wealth of information, including all research articles, is available on the Stein 1802 Project website.
Instruments on tour