ABOUT THIS HARPSICHORD
The harpsichord played was built in 1986 by Robert Wilson, of Lambertville NJ, and is a copy of a French double-manual harpsichord built in 1733 by Fran¨ois Blanchet (At the time of his death in 1733, F. Couperin had in his possession a large instrument from the workshop of the Blanchets.) There are three ranks of strings: 8', 8', 4', and a buff (or lute) stop, which damps the lower manual 8' strings. The strings are made of soft iron and brass, and are unwound (pianos have copper windings around a steel core in the bass to give them more mass). With a range of FF - f''' and 61 notes it was the
top of the line model available at the height of the Baroque era. Nearly 8 feet long to accommodate the long bass strings, the sound ranges from bright and invigorating in the treble, to warm and sonorous in the bass. Vermillion with gold banding and moldings, it is visually striking. This instrument was used by Igor Kipnis in the late 80's.
ABOUT THIS VIRGINAL
The virginal played was built by Lynette Tsiang in 1976, after an instrument in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, built by the Italian Francesco Poggio (d. 1634). It is a polygonal or 5-sided instrument with one set of brass strings and 52 keys.
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