Custom Instruments

Flemish 18th Century
Double-Manual Harpsichord


After J. D. Dulcken

The REAL 18th c. Flemish Double!The influence of the Ruckers was felt long into the 18th century, not only in France and England, but in the Netherlands as well. One of the most fascinating bodies of instruments left to us from this time comes from the hands of Johann Daniel Dulcken. Dulcken took the basic Ruckers design, which had not been produced in many decades, and enlarged it out of all proportion to the product of any other contemporary maker. The effect of this novel design decision was to make an instrument that did not display the same differences of tone from bass to treble that one finds in other 18th century doubles. Rather, these immense instruments (they are eight and one half feet long) have a crystalline sound that, paradoxically, combines the clarity of the best Italian harpsichords and the sustained tone of a Ruckers. They excel at contrapuntal playing although we have heard them used to admirable effect in late 18th century French music as well. The disposition is oriented more toward the organist and is thus more flexible than any other type of instrument produced at the time.

18th century Flemish double after J. D. Dulcken Offering Sheet


Listen to it...

You can hear an excerpt from a demonstration CD we have prepared for this instrument:

~ A Note About The Files ~
Not all mp3 files are equal!  The sound of a harpsichord is particularly difficult to compress satisfactorily. The bit rate we have chosen for these samples is the lowest that reproduces the original recording with negligible loss.  Download times will vary widely depending on your setup and the quality of your connection.   On a 28K Internet connection, the shorter sound sample may take from about 5 to over 10 minutes to download. If you have a fast connection (T1, cable modem, DSL) please try the long sample - you may expect download times substantially under a minute.

~ Problems Playing the File ~
If you cannot play the file through your web browser, PC users with the Microsoft browser can right click on the link, then choose the "Save target" option to download the file, then use an MP3 player (or a the Windows media player) to listen to it.

We now have available a demonstration CD of the instrument after J. D. Dulcken ($10.00 ppd. in U.S.). Please - inquire via our contact form.



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