French double after Taskin

French double-manual harpsichord

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An example of the large French double that I build, patterned after the 1769 Pascal Taskin in the Russell Collection, Edinburgh:

A view of the keyboard:

A view of the soundboard, showing the typical soundboard painting for this type of instrument (executed by yours truly):

Another view:

The sound of this French double is rather amazing in its fullness and power, from the stentorian bass to the lush middle register and singing treble. It is doubtful that any other historical model can surpass, or indeed equal, the Taskin in its versatility and appropriateness for the harpsichord literature of the 17th and 18th centuries.

There are three sets of strings: an 8-foot and 4-foot played from the lower manual, and a softer, contrasting 8-foot played from the upper manual. By shoving the upper manual in the forward position, the two manuals are coupled, which allows all three stops to played from the lower manual. In addition, there is a harp, or buff stop which can be added to the lower 8-foot to create a delightful pizzicato effect. Keyboard compass is FF-f''' (61 notes), sufficient for almost any music written for the harpichord.

Various decorative schemes are possible with this model, depending on the wishes of the customer, from plain Jane to elaborate. The one shown here is more or less middle-of-the road.

Another possible color scheme:

Taskin Sound Sample

Click here to play the sound

I am currently taking orders for harpichords based on Taskin--please inquire as to price and availability.


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