A harpsichord from the workshop of João Baptista Antunes, 1789, Lisbon, with two 8' registers and an exceptional range of five octaves and a third (FF-a3). Lute stop on the shorter strings.
The instrument was in a reasonable condition before the restoration although not in a playable state and underwent a full restoration in our workshop. Some of the original jacks were missing and many of the remaining ones could not be repaired. Therefore, new jacks were made, copying the original ones as closely as possible. The voicing was done with seagull feathers. The original stand is missing, the present one is a copy of the stand of the 1785 Joaquim Jozé Antunes (a brother of João Baptista), formerly in the Finchcocks collection.
The craftsmanship of this instrument is rather unsophisticated. However, the action is very effective and the soundboard, composed of slab-sawn planks in a typically Portuguese manner, produces a sound of exceptional quality, making it a harpsichord that is inspiring to play and a delight to listen to.
The instrument is part of the collection of the Museu Nacional de Música in Lisbon.
Sound sample: Johann Sebastian Bach, Preludium, BWV 998 - private recording
Pianoforte by Muzio Clementi, London, around 1810.
Restored in the 1990s in the workshop of Klinkhamer in Amsterdam, the instrument had been left unused and without maintenance for almost two decades. In 2014, when planning to use the instrument for concerts and recordings, work was commenced to rehabilitate the instrument. This consisted of raising the pitch to 430 while checking the stability of the case, full revision of the keyboard, keyboard action and pedal action, as well as a harmonisation of the leather on the hammer heads (in collaboration with my colleague Paulo Pimentel).
The instrument sits in the music room of the Palácio de Queluz, Portugal
Clavichord by Johann Paul Kraemer and sons, 1803 (nº 571), two 8' strings, FF-a3.
The instrument had always been kept in a playable state, but the stringing and set-up did not allow its musical possibilities to be fully exploited. The restoration consisted of- General cleaning- Removal of the non-original green paintwork on the outside of the case- Stabilisation of the cracks in the belly rail- Regluing of the bass hitch pin block to the left case wall- New keyboard flap- Replacement of the non-original lid (presumably made in the 1950s) by a new lid, made after two original Kraemer lids- Restringing- New set-up- Addition of a music standThe result is a clavichord with a beautiful free-sounding treble and an impressively powerful bass.
Click here for a video with the interpretation of J.S. Bach's Chromatische Fantasie und Fuge, BWV 903, on this wonderful instrument.
Pascal Taskin built this harpsichord in 1782 for the sister of king Louis XVI, Marie Clothilde de France. For the treble part of the soundboard he used a soundboard of an Andreas Ruckers virginal from 1636. The rose comes probably from the same 1636 virginal.
The instrument had been kept playable but had suffered a few changes that were clearly inspired by a more piano-like approach, with for instance a thick stringing and many lead weights inserted in the jacks as well as the keys. A first phase of the restoration was undertaken by Ulrich Weymar from Hamburg, who among others resolved some structural issues, repaired cracks in the soundboard and put the knee lever action back to work. The case decoration was completely restored by the National Laboratory José de Figueiredo in Lisbon. At Piparte we were responsible for the greater part of the restoration of the keyboards, the manufacture of a new set of jacks for the three quilled registers, voicing (seagull) and regulation.
In the future work will be undertaken to restore the "peau de buffle" register.
The instrument is in the collection of the Museu Nacional de Música in Lisbon.
Sound sample: Sainte Colombe - Concert for two equal bass viols nº 44 (Tombeau les Regrets), arranged for harpsichord by Kenneth Weiss - Kenneth Weiss, live recording
Praceta Dom João I, loja 57A, 2765-379 Caparide, Portugal