The Mozart Rail is a unique pianissimo pedal created especially for Steingraeber pianos. It was developed in 1894 by George Steingraeber, the son of Eduard Steingraeber, founder of Steingraeber & Söhne.
The pedal is located to the right under the keyboard and maybe operated manually or with a knee lever, as has been the case on some pianoforte at the time. Thanks to its system that reduces key depth and the distance between hammers and strings, the Mozart Rail allows to play pppp nuances with greater ease, but also to make faster note repetitions.
Here we have tested the Steingraeber E-272 grand piano Mozart Rail with three excerpts of Mozart’s pieces comparing them with the version without pedal. In this first piece, the rail is used partially to create more contrast between the different parts of the theme. Notice how the pedal softens the sound, a bit like the soft pedal.
Listen to audio excerpts (12 Variations on Ah vous dirai-je maman, K. 265 – W. A. Mozart):
In the two following pieces, the Mozart Rail was used throughout the whole excerpt.
Listen to audio excerpts (Adagio for Glass Harmonica, K. 356 – W. A. Mozart):
Listen to audio excerpts (Fantasia in D Minor, K. 397 – W. A. Mozart):