French & Flemish Harpsichords
French & Franco-Flemish Harpsichords
The late French harpsichords were for many years considered to be the most grand and universal instrument. The richness of sound and the depth of the bass create an immediate appeal. They typically have two keyboards, three sets of strings, and a buff (lute) stop. The range is five octaves from FF - f"’. A close cousin of the French double is the Franco-Flemish, which is the result of the 18th century French harpsichord builders rebuilding the fine 17th century instruments of Flanders to correspond more closely to the tastes of 18th century France. The result is an instrument which has much of the lushness of the French tonal ideal while maintaining some of the crispness and articulation associated with the Flemish instruments.