Italian Harpsichord II - Edition Beurmann

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mp3 Demo - Girolami Frescobaldi - Toccate F

mp3 Demo - Girolami Frescobaldi - Toccate G

mp3 Demo - Giovanni Gabrieli - Ricercar

Performed by Steffen Fahl


mp3 Demo - William Byrd - Ausschnitt aus "The Galliarde to the Firste Pavian"

mp3 Demo - William Byrd - Ausschnitt aus "My Ladye Nevels Grownde'"

mp3 Demo - Elias Nicolaus Ammerbach - Passametzo

Performed by Tobias Birkenbeil

The performances contain additional reverb.


The Italian Harpsichord II library features an instrument built around 1590 by an anonymous maker. Being very typical for the Italian style, the instrument features a housing seperated from the painted cabinet.

Italian harpsichord, around 1590 - photo: Andreas E. Beurmann

Furthermore, the instrument - which had been owned by Australian opera singer Joan Sutherland - sports a special feature: The housing is not bearing directly on the cabinet, but on two ledges below the ribs. This allows for the under-body to resonate.

Although the keyboard is showing signs of wear, the harpsichord still remains in fully playable condition despite its age. It is now available for the first time in the sampler within the Italian Harpsichord II library, presented in its original Kirnberger III-tuning at 378 Hz (presets at 440 Hz are available as well).


front view - photo by Andreas E. Beurmann

Like all harpsichords, the instrument is not touch-sensitive in the sense of a piano. However, even if the differences are minuscule, not any given note will sound exactly the same due to different resonances of body and strings.

Up to now, many keyboards and samplers represented harpsichords by always triggering off the exact same digital sample, leaving a sterile sounding impression. In order to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of this antique instrument, we captured 8 variations of each note.


part of the soundboard - photo by Andreas E. Beurmann

The key release sounds are also of major importance: What was originally side noise is now often overlooked and even simply left out in artifical simulations, resulting in an abstract overall picture. Therefore, we recorded 4 release samples per note. In addition to the samples, the library contains essays by Andreas Beurmann, explaining the background of the instrument.

left cheek - photo by Andreas E. Beurmann

Presets are included for HAlion®, Kontakt® (full version required) and EXS24® software samplers.

The sample library consists of nearly 550 single recordings.

For the recording process, we employed custom-made Wagner™ U47w® tube microphones with Crane Song™ Flamingo® preamps and Universal Audio™ 2192® digital converters. The samples were recorded at 192 kHz/24 bits, downsampled to your resolution of choice.

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Additional product information

Samplerate 44.1 kHz
Format Kontakt™/HAlion™/EXS24™
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