RWC 8' Italian Cembalino
Our cembalino is the fulfilment of an ambition we had for many years
to design a harpsichord small enough to be truly portable. Whilst looking
for a suitable model on which to base our instrument we contacted Denzil
Wraight, the leading authority on Italian keyboard instruments. He suggested
basing the design on the compact virginals of the 16th century maker
Dominicus Pisaurensis but adapted as a small harpsichord. An interesting and
exciting project followed, the result of which is a compact
delightful little Italian harpsichord, small
enough and light enough to be transportable in a car yet still capable of
producing the sound of a full-size instrument. The extraordinarily bold
sound surprises many and enables it to hold its place in an ensemble.
The casework is quarter sawn from close grained English sycamore, the
baseboard is planked from tulipwood (American poplar), the soundboard is
planked from selected Swiss pine, the keys are cut from lime with maple /
rosewood covers and the beech jacks are fitted with holly tongues with
Strung in hand drawn brass the single 8' is scaled to a 16th century
virginals pattern. The Cembalino produces a fine clear Italianate sound and
can be tuned to either a=415 or a=440. A transposing keyboard is not
practicable on account of the short bottom octave.
The finished Cembalino includes a finished turned
stand in the price.
Because Italian harpsichord builders almost universally built extremely
light instruments they had to provide them with a strong outer case for
transportation. Similarly we provide as an option a strong yet attractive
carrying case for our cembalino.
Disposition: Single 8', 45 notes, CC/EE - c''' (short bottom octave).
Size: 140cm long, 67cm wide, 17cm deep. Height of keyboard above the ground:
Weight: Excluding case 14kg, including case 25kg.
Each instrument is hand built to special order by
in house craftsmen in our own workshops in Toledo
(Spain) and comes with 12 months warranty.
A simple hard carrying case is available as
optional extras for safe transportation and there can be
a considerable saving in shipping costs if the case is ordered with the
instrument as everything can be packed into the case and sent in only one
A cassette recording of music by Salvatore, De
Macque and Mayone played on the cembalino by Christopher Stembridge is