Our tools of the trade

We play on a wonderful variety of instruments, from irreplaceable originals to faithful copies of historical instruments.  


Sophie and Helen play on a variety of recorders, all of them modern copies of fine historical instruments, made by makers such as Michael Grinter, Stephan Blezinger, Tim Cranmore and Friedrich von Huene.  


Lynden's cello is of Italian or German origin, possibly dating from the end of the 17th century to the middle of the 18th century.  At some point since then alterations were made so that it could be played as a 'modern' instrument.  Lynden has had it restored to its Baroque state.  It is so fragile that it is lined with linen.


We are lucky to have a choice of harpsichords to perform with as David has two beautiful instruments.


This is a double-manual French-style instrument made by Anne and Ian Tucker in 1999.  it is a replica of the Ruckers-Hemsch harpsichord (1763) in the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands Park.  (The original begain life as a single-manual by Andreas Ruckers, later converted into a double-manual by Henri Hemsch.)  It is identical down to the individual brush strokes of the painting.  Highly decorated, with gold leaf, it has two eight-foot registers, a four-foot register and a buff stop.  It is strung in iron and brass, with free-range turkey quills.  The sound is long and richly resonant.




This is a single-manual Italian-style harpsichord made by Ransom and Hammett in 1993.  It is a Venetian model after Grimaldi c.1700, with two eight-foot registers and strung in brass.  Like the Hemsch (above) it is quilled from turkey feathers.  The technique for making the quills is similar to that for old-style pens.  The sound is bright and immediate which makes it an excellent continuo (accompaniment) instrument where clarity of attack is often desirable.  In solo repertoire it is especially effective, as one would expect, in quick-fire Italian music, for instance by Frescobaldi and Scarlatti.









Harpsichord photographs by Robert Carpenter Turner