Könnicke, Johann Jakob [Könige]
- Michael Latcham
(b Braunschweig, Germany, c1756; d Bern, Switzerland, Dec 13, 1811). German piano maker. He came to Vienna probably about 1785 and became a citizen in 1796. Although designated an organ and piano maker in Vienna, he apparently made only pianos there. These show superb craftsmanship and refined taste. Numerous grands survive. Two of the earliest, both dated 1796 on the nameplate, both FF–g′′′ (D.N.gnm; Haydn-Haus, Vienna) show J.A. Stein’s influence (rounded tail, light bridge), but with adaptations (taller hammers, brass kapsels, individual checks, triple stringing in the treble) that suggest later influences. These dated pianos provide a rare benchmark when dating Viennese pianos. Later, undated instruments by Könnicke (D.N.gnm, A.W.km, both c1810) have the range FF–f′′′′ and the bass section of the bridge angled. Könnicke made a ‘Harmonie-Hammerflügel’ (1796, A.W.km), with a bank of six diatonic keyboards (each key, where necessary, with its own hammer and escapement mechanism) that divide the normal 12-key octave into 31 keys, to enable a purer tuning....