Chopin's Favorite Piano Factory Plays Its Final Chord
by Eleanor Beardsley
One of the world's oldest and most iconic piano makers, Pleyel, will close its factory doors in Paris at the end of 2013.
The French press characterized the bankruptcy as inevitable in the face of cheaper competition from China. But many disagree: They say Pleyel could have survived by adapting better to the times.
In his piano store, Bruno Canac, a former piano maker, tickles the ivories of a Pleyel piano conceived in the 1920s, when the company was in its heyday. He says the loss is a blow to France.
"Pleyel was an emblematic brand with 200 years of history," Cenac says. "It was not only the favorite of Chopin in the 19th century, but Pleyel was identified with French composers known as the impressionist musicians of the early 20th century — like Ravel and Debussy."
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