View Full Version : Modern Harpsichords

Feb-03-2009, 00:34
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?

Feb-03-2009, 21:43
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.

Feb-04-2009, 01:37
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.

Feb-08-2009, 17:46
I was also born in 1937, and I'm still around.

Feb-09-2009, 01:49
So am I, and I started just before you, 1934. I last saw him in Tuscany 6 years ago.