Gottfried Silbermann (1683 - 1753) was not only one of the most famous organ builders of his time, he was also very active in inventing and constructing stringed keyboard instruments.
Besides the invention of the „Cembalo d‘amour“, a clavichord with a double length of sounding strings, Gottfried Silbermann was the first instrument maker in the middle of Europe, who started to make fortepianos, which had been invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence about 1700.
At the beginning there may have been some difficulties with Silbermann‘s fortepianos, because Johann Sebastian Bach criticized the weak sound of the instrument‘s treble and the too heavy touch of the keyboard. However, when Silbermann improved his instruments decisively, evidently as a result of a detailed examination of a Cristofori fortepiano, Bach gave them his „complete approval“. For Johann Sebastian Bach a renewed encounter with a Silbermann fortepiano occurred, when he visited the Prussian King Friedrich II. at the palace of Potsdam in 1747. On this occasion Friedrich II. gave Johann Sebastian Bach the famous „King‘s Theme“. Johann Sebastian Bach improvised directly on the king‘s Silbermann fortepiano a Ricercare for three voices that met with his majesty‘s „most gracious pleasure“.
This fortepiano, which belongs now to the collection of the Neues Palais Potsdam, was the model for this NEUPERT replica. The instrument shows the constructional and tonal achievement of a great master craftsman from the first half of the 18th century.