established 1976, retired 2010
Yves Albert Feder Harpsichords is pleased to recommend THE PARIS WORKSHOP and the ATELIER MARC DUCORNET of Montreuil (Paris) France. TPW supplies harpsichord kits of extraordinary finish and quality backed by years of experience working with kit builders; and Marc's finished instruments have established a worldwide reputation and are in use by major performers in Europe, America, and throughout the world.
Having also built a variety of custom historical keyboard instruments myself here in the Killingworth workshops over the last 35 years, I've personally retired from instrument making and harpsichord service to devote myself primarily to my audio recording and production business.
Information on Linda Skernick's activities as a performer can be found at
Some fun local history from our harpsichord files!
Louis is a great veteran, having survived many tours and performances by visiting artists.
Some technical notes - The compass is 63 notes FF' - g''' - disposition 2X8' & 1X4', red with gold bands and linen off-white inner lid. The Louis XVI stand has fluted turned legs. I had the good fortune to learn making and finishing keyboards from scratch from some extraordinary old world craftsmen at the (then active) Pratt Read manufactory in Ivoryton, Connecticut. Steve Jellens and Frank Stopa taught me how to work with discarded ivory from old piano keyboards, and with ebony, and with cutting basswood for the keylevers, and the mysteries of hot glue - ! I also worked from the stringing plan for the 1769 Edinburgh Taskin to make up the board/bridges-nuts/string band. Quilling is a mix of delrin/celcon. Keyboard action, including sharps, all hand made. Buckskin covered key end surfaces. Instrument tuned to A415 and transposable to A440. A very rich sounding instrument with a particularly flutey back 8' register, Louis is a great concert hall harpsichord, terrific projection.
At this point, Linda and I have several harpsichords in house & I've finally gotten my latest large French Double playing - a fully scratch instrument, double transposer, closely derived from the 1769 Edinburgh Taskin with some lessons learned from the 1770 Yale Taskin (an instrument I've recorded in concert many dozens of times.) The new instrument has a reedier, perhaps more trenchant sound; but the old one has a dignity and suave character of tone that is most delightful and inspiring.
Our "new" French Double still remains unpainted after several years - but it is a beautiful instrument with leathered registers and pearwood jacks, and is a double transposer (down to A392 and up to A440, as desired). Various recording sessions are being held this year and next.
And Practicing the night before........
British harpsichordist SHARON GOULD onstage with our French
Double at the University of Delaware presenting a recital of
Couperin, Rameau, and J.S.Bach. During that tour, Sharon
performed on "Louis" at Washington's Phillips
Collection, The Chester, CT Old Meeting House Collomore Series,
and on Nantucket's Summer Musical Arts Series.
Here is the marvelous and extraordinary lutenist and virginalist SUZANNE BLOCH at the keyboard of our French Double shortly after it was built.
Here are some excerpts from our sound files, Linda performing on various instruments:-
-Francois Couperin, Prelude from "L'Art de toucher le clavecin" - performed in concert at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario September 2000.
Francois Couperin, Prelude from "L'Art de toucher le clavecin".mp3
-John Dowland, "Lady Rich Her Galliard" - performed on a 1935 John Dolmetsch Ottavina belonging to the late Suzanne Bloch, restored in our workshops. Performance done for public radio by Linda Skernick.
DOWLAND LADY RICH HER GALLIARD.mp3
-Domenico Scarlatti, Sonatas in D Major, K.535 & K.545 (performed in a live concert given on Connecticut College's concert series in New London, CT. Instrument, Flemish Double Manual harpsichord built here 1978.
D. Scarlatti, Sonatas in D Major, K.535 & K.545 .ra (real audio)
- Padre Antonio Soler, Sonata in F Sharp Major - performed on our double manual French harpsichord in concert in Milford, Connecticut. As broadcast on public radio.
SOLER SONATA IN F SHARP MAJ.mp3
-Domenico Scarlatti MIDI file. The quality of the sound from the embedded midi file will depend on your soundcard or external midi-capable player. The original performance by Linda Skernick was done on a Roland JV-90 multitimbral synthesizer, and transferred through a DigiDesign ProTools III system. MIDI by Linda Skernick & Yves Feder. Copyright 1998, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction prohibited.
Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in .mid
Now If your interest in the harpsichord ranges to more arcane applications...............!!
Last Updated on August 10th, 1769 by Yves A. Feder
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