Fleischer 1716 on video

This is a rare opportunity to see and hear the 1716 Fleischer from the Hamburg collection.

If I remember correctly, Bob van Asperen recorded the French Suites on this instrument.


Colin Tilney recorded a Handel LP on a Fleischer for Archiv back in the '70s. Half the Suites were on a Fleischer, but I don’t think it was this instrument, unless the cheeks have been restored. The other half were done on the Zell. Will check tonight.

It must have been on a different recording than that I have of him on Aeolus AE-10084, on which he plays a Christian Vater harpsichord of 1738 in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg.


You are no doubt correct. I am far from home and cannot check.

The Fleischer Tilney used in his Handel recording is a 1710 single by Johann Christoph Fleischer, now in the Musikinstrumenten-Museum, Berlin. It is an 8’ x 4’ harpsichord, with elaborate decoration of the case and soundboard and a much simpler stand than the 1716. At one point, a second 8’ was added, but this had a deleterious effect on the instrument’s tone, so it was restored later to its original disposition. The notes to the recording state that at the time of this performance (1974), there were no other harpsichords by Johann Christoph that had survived.

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An interesting detail about this unique instrument which was restored about 40 years ago by Martin Skowroneck and reworked recently by Uli Weymar in Hamburg who is also taking care of it: The very long scale in the bass in combination with marks on (I hope to remember correctly-) the jacks lead to a stringing schedule completely in (Birkett-)iron, down to the lowest note C. I couldn’t really tell from the recording…

@cembalaro Now that is really interesting. And an 8x4 instrument as well - our favourite disposition!

Is there a drawing of this instrument available?

What pitch does it sit at?

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Hereby my Rucker 8’and 4’with short octave and original scaling built by David Rubio 1981

Johan Brouwer


Copy of a Flemish instrument by Andreas Ruckers (1640)

The original one-manual Ruckers instrument is now in the Yale collection

Dispostion: 8’ and 4’ with Lute stop

Range C/E-C3 with short octave

Temperament: Meantone

sorry, -as pointed out above, that would be the Berlin-Instrument by Johann Christoph, the brother of Carl Conrad. The 1716 Hamburg harpsichord had 884 in the first place though the original bracing certainly didn’t quite hold the tension. It is pitched at a’ =392Hz. The Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte (not the one that owns the Zell) used to sell a drawing by Skowroneck.