Mozart Rail: The Performance of a Fortepiano, today.
Steingraeber’s new features can often draw upon earlier variations of design features, such as the Mozart Rail (DGB 20 2014 003 845.7), employed either as hand pedal or knee lever. In this instance, key depth in the grand pianos is reduced to 8mm, and distance from hammer to string is shortened to 36mm, making softer pppp articulation possible, together with quicker repetition.
The resulting instrument is faster and more ‘Mozart-like’, with a tone that is both small and silvery, but also more sustained.
The Mozart Rail is available in two different versions: a knee lever to use it while playing or a hand rail to adjust it between 8 and 10 mm before starting to play. George Steingraeber developed this pianissimo pedal in 1894 and it was also used by Engelbert Humperdinck.