French Harpsichord 1787 - Edition Beurmann

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Demos by Steffen Fahl


Die Einspielungen enthalten zusätzlichen Hall.

The French Harpsichord 1787 library features a double-manual instrument by France’s most prominent builder of the era, Pascal Taskin. The harpsichord – made in 1787 in Paris – offers sophisticated finesse and detail in many variations. Along with the regular two 8” stops and the 4” stop, two Lautenzug variations are available. A “peau de buffle” stop – using buffalo leather picks for a dreamy sound – is a peculiarity of the instrument.

Taskin harpsichord (image © Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg)

The front signature suggests that the instrument was built in 1636 in the famous Antwerp workshop of Andreas Ruckers. Taskin’s name is punched on the wrestplank, stating that he overhauled the harpsichord in 1787. According to the Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe where the instrument resides, this indicates that the instrument was already considered valuable at Taskin’s time and that it was modernized and expanded in his workshop. However, research has shown that in this case, Taskin feigned the alteration of a Ruckers instrument. This would have fetched a higher price than a new harpsichord at the time.



The Ruckers signature above the keyboard was apparently forged (image © Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg)


The harpsichord was recently restored and is in great playable condition. We sampled the instrument with 7 stops/combinations, including the upper 8’, lower 8’, the 4' plus all three combined (“tutti”). In addition, the infamous “peau de buffle” stop and the Lautenzug stops for both the upper and lower 8’ were sampled.


Like all harpsichords, the instrument is not touch-sensitive. There are no real volume changes when hitting a key with different intensity. However, a note won’t sound just the same twice. The instrument’s strings and body always resonate slightly different.

To capture the instrument in a lively way, we recorded every sampled register with 8 variations per note (4’, Lautenzug & “peau de buffle”: 4 samples per note). They are triggered in succession to avoid repetition (and the dreaded "machine gun" effect). Additionally, we recorded 4 release samples per key.


The sample library consists of more than 4,200 single samples.


Presets are included for the Native Instruments™ Kontakt® software sampler (full version required; Kontakt6® or higher), both in its original Valotti temperament at 415 Hz, as well as presets at 440 Hz. Additionally, the library contains an essay provided by Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg, describing the history of the instrument.

The samples were recorded at the Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg. For the recording, we employed microphones and preamps by the German manufacturer DS-audioservice™. The recordings were conducted 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™
Delivery Download

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