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Thread: Modern Harpsichords

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    Modern Harpsichords

    I wonder if anyone would be so kind as to give me their thoughts on modern revival harpsichords. I am thinking of building a model similar to the Pleyel harpsichord used by the great Wanda landowska; double manual with 16, 8, 8, 4 choirs and nasale. I would fancy one of these instruments for my own practise, but how viable would it be as a business if i could market them for around £7000 sterling? Can any enthusiasts offer advice?

  2. #2
    Commodore con Forza
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    How much does a Steinway concert grand cost? They sell them.

    Harpsichords are to the piano what the recorder is to the flute, and not many did it like Landowska. I forget which one, but one conductor some time back remarked that a harpsichord sounded like two skeletons fornicating on a tin roof. However that may be, they were the instrument in their day. So Bach is perfectly legitimate on one. What would he do with present-day pipe organs?

    It would seem that Stradivarius violins are about the only instruments that old that still hold their power and admiration. And there's certainly no reason why a good craftsman couldn't make a harpsichord (or a violin) that should equal any around. It might take some time and some adjusting, but it's within reason and possibility.

  3. #3
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    There's a chap in Holland, Wim van de Ven, makes his own Harpsichords, Spinets etc, spends his summers in Tuscany playing a copy he built of an Italian virginal built in 1601 by Vitus de Trasuntino. Don't know if he's still around, born 1937.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  4. #4
    Commodore con Forza
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    I was also born in 1937, and I'm still around.

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    So am I, and I started just before you, 1934. I last saw him in Tuscany 6 years ago.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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