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  • Modern Harpsichord



    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 use 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 as opposed to a digital organ, but how viable would it be as a business if i could market these instruments. Would there be sufficent demand? Can any enthusiasts offer advice?</P>

  • #2
    Re: Modern Harpsichord

    I offer nothing but a video of Karl Richter playing a sort of Pleyel style harpsichord. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5JD-HejeWg

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Modern Harpsichord



      I have an intense dislike of the "modern revival" style harpsichord. Those cast-iron monsterswent out of fashion decades ago; the goal seemed to be volume for volume's sake and had little to do with musicality - baroque music requires something altogether different.</P>


      If you ever have the opportunity to play a harpsichord that has been hand-crafted in the style of the old Flemish or French masters you will discover a beauty of tone that is surpassed only by original period instruments.</P>


      If your intent is to play early music, it is better to go with an instrument that suits the literature! [8-|]</P>


      My 2 cents (as a harpsichordist)...</P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Modern Harpsichord



        [quote user="Austin766"]I offer nothing but a video of Karl Richter playing a sort of Pleyel style harpsichord. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5JD-HejeWg
        [/quote]

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Modern Harpsichord

          [quote user="Pipedreamer"]

          [quote user="Austin766"]I offer nothing but a video of Karl Richter playing a sort of Pleyel style harpsichord. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5JD-HejeWg
          [/quote]</p>

          </p>

          That reminds me of a quote by a certain Sir Thomas Beecham...[:$]</p>

          </p>

          I am blessed to have a french double harpsichord to practice on instead of something like that monstrosity. I'd think it would impossible to play with relaxed touch on something like that.</p>

          [/quote]</p>

          You wouldn't be referring to the one about skeletons on a tin roof, would you?[8-|]
          </p>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Modern Harpsichord



            "I offer nothing but a video of Karl Richter playing a sort of Pleyel style harpsichord."</p>

            </p>

            I believe the instrument he is playing is built by Neupert from Germany. They never used steel frames only wood.</p>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Modern Harpsichord



              [quote user="Austin766"]I offer nothing but a video of Karl Richter playing a sort of Pleyel style harpsichord. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5JD-HejeWg[/quote]</P>


              Wow! Pretty gruesome!! [:S] I recall an ancient recording byBiggsfrom around the '50s; playing a pedal harpsicord.What an offensive, noisy contraption! []</P>


              While harpsicords died over a century ago, why has no oneever had the decencyto bury them, once and for all?? [:$]</P>


              Although I can tolerate some of the less offensive contraptions for a few minutes at a time;like 5 minutes at the very most; the only benefit I can envision, is that after listening to something like that, even fuzzzy gueeetars might even sound like a bonus benefit! ?? [:|]</P>
              2008: Phoenix III/44

              Comment


              • #8
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dwfmt...eature=related

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Modern Harpsichord



                  I couldn't agree more with the comments of Soubasse32 and can't say it any more succinctly.</p>

                  Roy Knight
                  </p>
                  Roy E. Knight, DMA

                  Hauptwerk 4-manual digital
                  Hammond B-3, Leslie 122, PR-40
                  Hammond A-102, Leslie 125, PR-40

                  Church; Cassavant 3-manual, 70 rank

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Modern Harpsichord

                    Thank You all for your interest and suggestions. Please keep them coming.Do anyone not agree, however, that the best keyboards to practise on are tracker action with a heavy bite (not so much as to cripple the hands)instead of flimsy light keys on a digital organ or electro-pneumatic action?They do nothing for the technique.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Modern Harpsichord



                      Well-regulated trackers are good to practice on. However, if you hold a church job and your regular instrument has a light action, then it is probably best to spend a good deal of time practicing there.</P>


                      [quote user="Clarion"]While harpsicords died over a century ago, why has no one ever had the decency to bury them, once and for all?? [:$][/quote]I beg your pardon! [^o)] Folks could just as easily say that about The Organ! Perhaps they have even more reason to say it, as organs are so much more expensive to build and maintain, and they take up so much room. [8-)]</P>


                      Harpsichords are still around because authentic interpretations are needed. It would be quite dreadful to substitute a piano for the continuo part in any orchestral works by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, etc. From an audience perspective, the jangly bite of the harpsichord sort of works like a percussion section- it helps propel the music forward.</P>


                      I'm not entirely happy when I hear piano or orchestral renditions of Bach organ works on the radio, to the exclusion of the 'real thing'- the general public is thus being taught to forget the organ. It is entirely and exactly the same for the harpsichord; I'd rather hear baroque keyboard works played on period instruments - it preserves the authentic "flavor" of the music.</P>


                      By the way - harpsichords are fun! []</P>


                      I'm feeling in a sharing mood lately, so here is another concert recording of yours truly ... on the harpsichord. [8-|] It is a movement from a delightfulHandel Sonata for two keyboards. Click on this link to download a 5MB MP3 file.</P>


                      Please pardon the background rumble - the street was very close by and I didn't want to tamper with filtering it out.
                      </P>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Modern Harpsichord

                        [quote user="Clarion"]


                        I recall an ancient recording byBiggsfrom around the '50s; playing a pedal harpsicord.What an offensive, noisy contraption! []</p>

                        [/quote]</p>

                        My local public broadcasting station, Classical 91.5 WXXI is in the middle of their fund drive. During one of the segments where they begged people to call, they played perhaps the same recording by Biggsy in the background. I don't remember the exact title but it was by Scott Joplin and the name was something about a crash/wreck of some sort. Is that the same recording? I thought it was unusual for EPB to play something like this.
                        </p>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Modern Harpsichord

                          Was it called the Car Crash Rag?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Modern Harpsichord



                            [quote user="Philip the organist"]During one of the segments where they begged people to call, they played perhaps the same recording by Biggsy in the background. I don't remember the exact title but it was by Scott Joplin and the name was something about a crash/wreck of some sort. Is that the same recording? I thought it was unusual for EPB to play something like this. [/quote]</P>


                            Philip,</P>


                            That must have been fifty years ago [:|], that I heard that recording! Now ask me what I did lastFriday![:|]</P>


                            While the Scott Joplin thing seems to tweak a consistent but vague memory response; the onlythings that stick in my mind, are:</P>


                            1. The picture on the record album . . . EPB sitting at the console of a two manual harpsicord with an AGO pedalboard; and</P>


                            2. The memorably aweful sound the instrument produced, which I can still hear fifty years later! [:S]</P>


                            Could it be that EPB did an entire Scott Joplinalbum?Sounds plausible.</P>


                            The Orchestral specification on my Phoenix includes a rather wellvoiced harpsicord; and if I include the Choir-Pedal coupler, then I supposeI have a <U>pedal</U>harpsicord.[:$]</P>


                            On Edit: Upon doing a Google search, guess what??</P>


                            "E Power Biggs plays Scott Joplin on the pedal harpsichord" VINYL</P>


                            http://www.torrentreactor.net/torren...psichord-VINYL</P>
                            <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                            2008: Phoenix III/44

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Modern Harpsichord

                              [quote user="Clarion"]

                              [quote user="Austin766"]I offer nothing but a video of Karl Richter playing a sort of Pleyel style harpsichord. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5JD-HejeWg[/quote]</p>


                              Wow! Pretty gruesome!! [:S] I recall an ancient recording byBiggsfrom around the '50s; playing a pedal harpsicord.What an offensive, noisy contraption! []</p>


                              While harpsicords died over a century ago, why has no oneever had the decencyto bury them, once and for all?? [:$]</p>


                              Although I can tolerate some of the less offensive contraptions for a few minutes at a time;like 5 minutes at the very most; the only benefit I can envision, is that after listening to something like that, even fuzzzy gueeetars might even sound like a bonus benefit! ?? [:|]</p>

                              [/quote]
                              </p>

                              I couldn't disagree more![:O]</p>

                              I have that recording and another he did called, "Holiday For Harpsichord" on vinyl and I very much enjoy them. I also find the John Challis instrument Biggs used to be quite pleasant. Thumbs up in my book! []
                              </p>

                              Comment

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