French Harpsichord - Edition Beurmann

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mp3 Demo - Johann Sebastian Bach - Ouverture der Partita 4

mp3 Demo - Jean-Philippe Rameau - Les Trois Mains

mp3 Demo - Francois Couperin - Le Reveil Matin

mp3 Demo - Jacques Duphly - La Boucon

Performed by Steffen Fahl

The performances contain additional reverb.

The French Harpsichord library features a double-manual instrument by renowned French builder Nicolas Pigalle. The instrument - built in Dijon in 1771 - features an "enchanting sound with singing clarity and a substantial bass", as collector Prof. Andreas Beurmann explains. These qualities - along with its huge tone which also manages to bring out its delicate, sophisticated finesse and detail - make it is an excellent representation of the French style. "It is one of only two surviving harpsichords from Dijon, a city once so rich in musical tradition, the other also being by Pigalle", he continues.

Pigalle harpsichord - photo by Andreas E. Beurmann

Based on its two manuals and different registers, the Pigalle harpsichord offers lots of unique sounds, sampled with 5 different register combinations, including the upper 8', lower 8' (principal 8'), the 4', both 8' as well as the "tutti" combination of both 8' registers and the 4' recorded together.

Like all harpsichords, the instrument is not touch-sensitive like a piano. However, not any given note will sound exactly the same twice due to different resonances of body and strings.

Until now, many keyboards and samplers represented harpsichords by always triggering off the same digital sample, leaving a sterile sounding impression. In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of this antique instrument, we captured 8 variations of each note (4' register: 4 variations per note).


Pigalle harpsichord: nameboard and manuals - 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.

Despite its age - it's been around 250 years - the harpsichord still remains in great condition. It is now available for your sampler, presented in its original Valotti tuning at 383 Hz (presets in 440 Hz also available). In addition, the library contains an essay in English by Andreas Beurmann, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.




Pigalle harpsichord cover painting - photo by Andreas E. Beurmann

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

The sample library consists of more than 3.400 single samples.

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.

Brand names, trademarks and product names belong to their respective owners.

Additional product information

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