Introducing the Harpsichord

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Published 6 years ago
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Steven Devine, Co-Principal Keyboardist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, tells us all about his German harpsichord.



💬 Comments
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I'm absolutely in love with the sound of the harpsichord. Absolutely beautiful to listen to.

Author — Alexis Panda

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This is by far the best harpsichord I have ever heard.

Author — keyshia lee

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Lucky Steven, having all those wonderful harpsichords! You should give us some more talks..this one was too short!

Author — MickyD Provence

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There are Electric Harpsichords which have Pickups beneath the strings so it's easier to record without needing a Mic. Bill Napier-Hemy made a Touch-Sensitive Harpsichord that is expressive like a Modern Piano because the action has been slightly modified to make it work that way.

Author — Oscar Stern

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Michael Mietke harpsichords like this one can be both sweet and raucous; they have an incredible range of character and project well towards the audience. In contrast French harpsichords are sweeter to the player; more hedonistic, and in some rare occasions, can be bordering the miraculous like the Goermans-Taskin at the Russell Collection in Edinburgh, on which Trevor Pinnock made some fabulous recordings. Mr Pinnock incidentally plays a superbly balanced harpsichord made by David Way, inspired from a Hemsch design, on a wide repertoire. The Hemsch has the characteristic bird-like quill sound and vocal sustain that one finds in the best french designs. The two Mietke that are at Charlottenburg are the only existing harpsichords we know have been commissioned by J.S. Bach. They are richly decorated in the chinese porcelain style that was all-the-rage at the Prussian court. Several modern-day harpsichord makers make copies of the 1710 Mietke (the one in the video is by Colin Booth); to my knowledge the first of our contemporary makers who made a copy was (Paris-based) Reinhard von Nagel, for the William Dowd brand. Now in his ripe old age, he still makes them on occasion. Gustav Leonhardt recorded transcriptions of Bach lute suites on this instrument, as did Christophe Rousset.

Author — Ph Pn

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Yes!! I finally found the angelic sound that stopped me in my tracks when listening to classical music!! I always wanted to know what that sound was and now I finally do!! Thank you for making this video!!

Author — Vanessa Tovar

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I agree with Steven on the German instruments. I would love one but can’t afford one nor could i tune or maintain it: maybe one day. Nice to see Steven doing well. Always remember his great talks and demos at Finchcocks.

Author — mattbod

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OMG! That thing must be a NIGHTMARE to tune!
I can't even imagine! 😮

Author — Jamie van Brewen

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An amazing piece of musical history. Very informative presentation. A magnificent instrument in every way. Thanks.

Author — Drew Seventy

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I Want More of this guy playing, and talking about instruments. *MORE*

Author — Braden Leonard

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Very informative and sounds fantastic. Would be nice though to see you show the difference, I'm very curious to how that would sound in one video with the same micophone used etc. especially the french one! tough from what you said I'd probably buy a flemmish then cry for not picking the german hahahah

Author — Leo Verheggen

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Indeed … that brief excerpt made my heart sing .

Author — KerissP

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I was today years old when I learned that the tinny-sounding piano that I always saw elegant young ladies playing for guests in the parlour of good homes in 18th Century period films wasn't actually a piano, but something called a harpsichord.
Getting educated, here.

Author — Mystery LovesCompany

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I could just listen to him all day talking about harpsichords

Author — Randolph Crane

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+OrchestraEnlighten *Thanks for the primer on the two-manual harpsichord.* My ideal instrumentation for a performance of BWV 1050 would use both a Yamaha® C1X piano backing the violons in the _continuo_ and one of the largest available German or Flemish two-manual harpsichords for the cembalo solo (Upper Front 8'; Lower Back 8' + Center 4')

Author — B. C. Schmerker

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I'm a guitarist and bassist but harpsichord is my favorite instrument

Author — Randal Clarke

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Tried to find this instrument for ages after hearing "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers for the first time in a few years.

Author — No Thanks

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Please, Steven, don't stop!...I want to continuously hearing it...

Author — renato araújo

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i have to say i love the Harpsichord but those old Harpsichord pieces are played most of the time fast with alot going on ... i like the slow Harpsichord much more

Author — Giotto Vongola

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Yeah! I used to have a flemish 2X8 - but I would have preferred a german instrument.

Author — mette holm