German Single-Manual Harpsichord After Vater
The most exotic examples of 18th-century German harpsichord building come from the north, particularly Hamburg, where builders like the Hass family experimented with 16' and 2' stops as well as instruments with three keyboards; but those large, complex machines are really exceptional to the mainstream of European harpsichord building. The one surviving harpsichord by Christian Vater of Hannover, dated 1738, now housed in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg is a much more modest, conventional and generally useful instrument. With its original 2 x 8' disposition on a single keyboard, and with the small range of the original expanded to GG-d''', our version of this venerable antique is equipped to play almost the entire harpsichord literature.
Like French harpsichords, German instruments were also influenced by Flemish models. But unlike the French, who gave up their thin-case 17th-century designs for the heavy-case Flemish models, the Germans retained the lighter construction, and their graceful, double-curved bent sides as well. Hence, the Vater has a certain slender elegance that is denied to the heavier Flemish and French instruments. With its fairly wide compass and all-brass stringing, the transparent but powerful sound is particularly appropriate for the music of J. S. Bach. It is transposable to three different pitch levels.
Click on thumbnail photos for detail
||2x8', buff; stop levers on wrestplank
||56 + 2 notes, GG-d'''; transposable A392/A415/A440
||app. 78" x 35"
||app. 120 lbs.
||reverse keyboards with ebony naturals, bone-slipped sharps and pearwood arcades; wooden jacks
||case in prime American cherry; oak wrestplank; Swiss pine soundboard
||turned trestle-style stand in premium American cherry
- Case in naturally finished premium American cherry
- Adjustable folding music desk, regular and continuo lid sticks matching the case
- Dust cover
- French polich case finish
- Padded cover
Signed D. Jacques Way