Petzoldt [Petzhold], Wilhelm [Guillaume-] Leberecht
- Howard Schott
(b Lichtenhain, Saxony, July 2, 1784; d after 1829). German piano maker, active in Paris. The son of a pastor, he learnt his craft under the Dresden court organ and piano builder Carl Rudolf August Vensky and Anton Walter of Vienna. By 1805 he had reached Paris, where he was associated until 1814 with the piano maker J. Pfeiffer (b Trêves, 1769; d Paris, 1838). In 1806 they exhibited a square piano with a range of five and a half octaves, a triangular piano to be placed in the comer of a room, and a vertical six-octave cabinet piano with an extended soundboard to which they gave the name Harmomelo. Shortly after this, they gave up use of the Viennese action and introduced an English type.
After leaving the partnership Petzoldt invented a type of action with a different escapement mechanism which he continued to develop over the next 20 years. This was intended, with longer and heavier stringing, to secure a more powerful sound while retaining a sensitive, light action. In ...