Continuo Keyboards

Concert Harpsichord

 

Our harpsichord was built by the Dutch maker Jan Kalsbeek through the generosity of William Caudell. It is based on the work of Michael Mietke (c. 1656/71–1719), who was appointed the Brandenburg Court harpsichord maker by Friedrich I. In 1719 Johann Sebastian Bach ordered an instrument from Mietke for the court in Cöthen, the instrument for which the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto (BWV 1050) may have been composed. Three of Mietke’s harpsichords are still extant, and the two-manual instrument at Charlottenburg Castle particularly serves as the inspiration for our Bach Harpsichord. The interior is the Italian style, and the shape of the case and decoration with chinoiseries is in the French style; the case is made of pine, lime, and sycamore, and the strings are brass. The lower keyboard has 8’ and 4’ stops, the upper keyboard 8’, and the manuals can be coupled. The compass is FF–f’’’, and the instrument can be played at A=390, 415, or 440 HZ. The instrument is most commonly tuned in Kellner.

Portative Organ

 

The portative organ was built by Taylor & Boody Organbuilders of Staunton, Virginia in 2008 through the generosity of Paul and Tod Shchenck. Every aspect of the organ was crafted by hand, with gothic-inspired designs, hand-made lead-tin alloy pipes, and pipes made of wood seasoned in the builder's workshop. The portative organ is used regularly in the Bach Orchestra as a continuo instrument, and occasionally to play obbligato lines. The organ is most commonly tuned in Kellner.

MANUAL (C–d''')

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Gedackt 8'

Rohrflöte 4'

Hohlquinte 2 ⅔'

Principal 2'

Regal 8'

Mechanical sticker key action

Mechanical slider stop action

Single wedge bellows

Wind pressure 65 mm

Playable at A=392, 415,

430, 440, 465 HZ

Spinet Harpsichord

 

Our spinet harpsichord was built by Gerald Self of San Antonio in 2016, and is our primary instrument for Bach in Schools and for chamber programs taking place outside of Christ the King Church. It was modeled after a 1770 instrument by Albertus Delin.  Despite its small size, this spinet has a clear rich sound that easily carries through a large classroom and supports a singer and treble instrument. When used in schools, it is tuned in Kellner, otherwise in quarter comma meantone.

Playable at A=415, 440 HZ

Contact Us

 

2353 Rice Boulevard

Houston, TX 77005

info@bachsocietyhouston.org

713.400.0514

© 2020 by Bach Society Houston

Design by Christopher Holman

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