The " Iberian " Harpsichord


Recent studies indicate that the restriction of historic harpsichord building the five countries

Italy , Flanders , France , England and Germany

simplifies the historical circumstances too .


In particular, the instrument of the Iberian Peninsula , whose rich pre-baroque and baroque piano music is already more widely accessible again , deserves more attention . One of the most important Portuguese harpsichord maker of the 18th century was Joaquim Antunes Jozé from Lisbon . About his life we know ( yet ) little - he should have lived 1725-1790 - but three received harpsichords show him to be excellent instrument maker.

Lissabon, 1785 - single-manual harpsichord von Joaqm. Joz. Antunes ©DevineMusic, Finchcocks Musical Museum, Kent

With the restoration of an ( 1758 built , to the collection of the National Conservatory of Lisbon related ) of these three previously unplayable instruments NEUPERT could contribute to the rediscovery of the Portuguese Harpsichord building . The restoration work revealed numerous constructional details that Antunes was not a loner , but obviously representative of a sophisticated architecture harpsichord .


The recovery of the sound of a " Antunes " opened the music world to look at a completely independent , very sexy sound , as it would have probably met the expectations of as long acting in Portugal and Spain Domenico Scarlatti .

Text : Copyright © 2014 , J. C. NEUPERT



Harpsichord by José Calisto, Portugal, 1780. ,NMM 6204 -Rawlins fund, 1999 -

© photo by Bill Willroth, Sr.



See also the article by John Koster in " " from 2007 :

John Koster, "Towards an Optimal Instrument:  Domenico Scarlatti and the New Wave of Iberian Harpsichord Making," Early Music 35, No. 4 (November 2007), pp. 575-604.