German Harpsichord 1782 - Edition Germ. Nationalmuseum

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mp3 demos

J. G. Albrechtsberger - Preludium A-Dur

J. N. Forkel - Variation on 'God Save The Queen' - G

J. N. Forkel - Variation on 'God Save The Queen' - Bb

Tischer - Frühling 5 - Sarabande

Tischer - Frühling 7 - Gigue

Performed by Steffen Fahl

The performances contain additional reverb.


The German Harpsichord 1782 library features a rare historical German harpsichord - a charming instrument by Carl August Gräbner. The instrument - built in Dresden in 1782 - features a beautiful and tight low end, delicate low mids and a rich treble range. It’s great color on the palette of German harpsichord tradition. Residing at the Germanische Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, the harpsichord is in excellently playable condition.



front view - photo by Nicolay Ketterer

The sample library features all different single sounds of the instrument sampled separately - the upper and a lower 8' register, the 4’ register and the Lautenzug op-tion. In addition, several combinations have been sampled together, such as the 2 x 8’ stops and the “tutti” variant. The latter offers beautifully complex harmonic response. The Gräbner harpsichord has been sampled in its original Valotti tuning at 412 Hz. Presets at 440 Hz are included.

Like all harpsichords, the instrument is not touch-sensitive. There are no real volu-me 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.

If the same digital sample gets repeated immediately, the result is unnatural and harsh; this is the dreaded so-called „machine gun“ effect. It leaves even the casual listener rather puzzled. To capture the instrument in a lively way, we recorded every sampled register with 8 variations per note (4’ and Lautenzug: 4 samples per note). They are triggered in succession to avoid repetition.


left cheek - photo by Nicolay Ketterer

The release sounds of the keys are of major importance: What was originally regarded as side noise, is part of the overall picture. When omitted, the instrument sounds rather abstract. Therefore, we recorded 4 release samples per key/sampled register.

Additionally, the library contains an essay in German by Dr. Frank Bär of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, describing the history of the instrument.

To start right away, presets are available for Kontakt® (full version required; Kontakt5® or higher)

The sample library contains more than 3,900 single samples.

The samples were recorded at the beautiful sounding Aufseß-Saal of the Germani-sches Nationalmuseum. 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.

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