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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Canadian Single harpsichord by Claviers Baroques (Toronto) 2001

Price: $10,000 CAD or equivalent (the Universal Currency Converter can tell you what that would be in your currency) plus shipping from Montreal QC and any applicable taxes & duties. Made in Canada so qualifies as duty-free in the US, Canada and Mexico under NAFTA. Interested? Contact us!

 

Canadian single manual harpsichord by Claviers Baroques (Toronto) 2001. Case in natural cherry, compass is BB to d''' (52 notes) and may be tuned to a GG/BB or other short octave bass, disposition is 2 x 8' with buff. Patterned after the Italianate instruments of the English restoration (1660 and ff), combining the Italian shape and scaling with a sturdier case and diagonal flitches. The result is an small instrument (6' 2" long by 31" wide) with the Italian sound and action but with greater volume and sustain. Includes music desk, lid , flap and propstick in cherry, stand in cedar.

This instrument was designed for Baroque pitch (A=415), but could be converted to modern pitch if you prefer, that would cost approximately $500 for restringing and some repinning. Does not transpose but if converted to modern pitch could be tuned down to A=415 if required. Spruce soundboard, pearwood jacks and soundboard furniture. Strung in brass for a clear, Italian sound. A professional quality instrument, suitable for public performance and recording.

Price: $10,000 CAD or equivalent (the Universal Currency Converter can tell you what that would be in your currency) plus shipping from Montreal QC and any applicable taxes & duties. Made in Canada so qualifies as duty-free in the US, Canada and Mexico under NAFTA. Interested? Contact us!

Sound samples are in preparation and will be posted soon.

This instrument is presently voiced for ensemble playing in a large room in a home. If you wanted to use it for performance you might want to voice it a little more heavily, although the brass carries well and you might find you are happy with it as is.


The casewood on this instrument is some of the prettiest cherry we have ever seen. It has a swirly grain which is very unusual in cherry, it looks like marble. We'd never seen anything like it, we snapped up all of it that our supplier had and we haven't seen any like it since. The music desk is from the same batch. The lid, flap and propstick, which were made later, don't have the same wild grain, although they are a good colour match for the case.

Cherry wood contains phenocytes which darken naturally on exposure to sunlight. This instrument lives in a sunny room and the colour has gotten richer and darker over the years. Since this is a linseed oil finish and *not* stain, the grain still shows through. The older it gets, the darker it will become, too. You can refresh the finish with another coat of linseed oil any time, too, and it will look as good as new.

The stand is our standard Claviers Baroques design in pegged cedar. Cedar is a good colour match for cherry but more economical and much lighter. The stand comes apart for moving, just knock out the four pegs. We're pretty happy with this design -- it is strong, light, easy to assemble and disassemble and doesn't wobble. The lid is attached with loosepins so it can be removed for performance.

[below] The cherry case was a pale champagne pink -- very pretty -- when we delivered it in 2001. You can see how much darker it has become in the photo at right, taken just a couple of years later.

 

 

The open-design music desk holds the music up but allows the sound to come through to the player. Notches allow two angles to handle everything from single sheets to the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book to urtext. Sturdy enough for those bulky Xerox editions, too.

As you would expect on a professional-quality instrument, the spruce soundboard is hand-planed for flexibility and evenness of tone across the compass. The soundboard rose is Claviers Baroques' double-crane pattern, hand-carved in cherry and gilded. Soundboard lightly shellacked, pearwood bridge, nut, mouldings and rails are French-polished. Oak wrestplank veneered with soundboard wood in the Italian style. Square tuning pins for ease of tuning.

The keys are balanced by lightening from the front, not by weighting the back. The lower mass reduces inertia so the key can change direction quickly. This is one of the many factors that contribute to a crisp, responsive action and a very fast repeat rate.

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We carve material away from the sides of the keys, not off the bottom, so the keys won't flex. We leave the fronts of the naturals solid so they don't resonate. The keyends are covered in two thin layers of woven wool felt for superior sound muffling without sponginess.

 

Register shifting and buff are controlled from the wrestplank in the Italian style.

 

 

The stringing schedule serves as a guide but the final judge, as in the soundboard planing, is the master builder's ear.

The soundboard is sealed with two *very* thin coats of shellac to provide protection against dust without deadening the sound.

 

This is a first-rate, professional quality harpsichord. Would suit a professional player, an advanced or serious intermediate student, or a dedicated amateur who appreciates playing a fine instrument. It would be wonderful for a serious beginner, because the student would never have to fight with the instrument. For the same reason it would be ideal for a conservatory or the music department of a university or college. With the addition of a maintenance plan, which is included in consumer or institutional lease financing, it would be an affordable and trouble-free continuo, ensemble and practice instrument for an individual, ensemble, school, opera company, etc. Maintenance plans are also available separately.

This is also an ideal gigging instrument as it is easy to transport, set up and tune and it holds its tune well. Weighs about 50 kg / 120 lbs with the lid. Goes easily into any mini-van and some hatchbacks -- here is its older sister Althea in a tiny Suzuki Aerio on her way to a performance.

Change in economic circumstance forces sale. Priced to sell quickly. This instrument is in Montreal and may be viewed/played by appointment. Contact us to set up a day and time. For those of you not in the Montreal area, we hope to have sound samples on line soon

 

Sound samples (coming soon):

   
   

Price: $10,000 CAD or equivalent (the Universal Currency Converter can tell you what that would be in your currency) plus shipping from Montreal QC and any applicable taxes & duties. Made in Canada so qualifies as duty-free in the US, Canada and Mexico under NAFTA. Interested? Contact us! [back to used instruments page]

 



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