NEUPERT harpsichord "Antunes"
after Joaquim Jozé Antunes (Lisbon 1758)
|Recent research has shown that the restriction of historical harpsichord making to five countries (Italy, Flanders, France, England, and Germany) is too great a simplification.
In particular the history of musical instrument making on the Iberian peninsula deserves further attention since it had a rich tradition of pre-baroque and baroque keyboard music, most of which has already been rediscovered. Without any doubt, one of the most important Portuguese harpsichord makers during the 18th century was Joaquim Jozé Antunes from Lisbon. We don't know much about his life until now: he may have lived from 1725 to 1790, but there are still three of his harpsichords, distinguishing him as an excellent maker of keyboard instruments.
In restoring one of these instruments (all three of which were not playable until now), NEUPERT made a contribution to rediscovering the early Portuguese harpsichord making tradition. The restored harpsichord was originally made in 1758 and today it belongs to the collection of musical instruments of the National Conservatory of Music, Lisbon. Many details of its construction, which became accessible during the restoration, show that J.J. Antunes was a representative of a highly developed art of harpsichord making in his country.
Recovering the sound of an "Antunes" opened the view of the music world to a completely original and very attractive character of sound, as it might have appealed to the imagination of the famous Domenico Scarlatti, who spent a large part of his life in Portugal and Spain.
NEUPERT intends with this replica not only to add a further original colour to the already well known palette of sound of the different historical harpsichord schools, but also wishes to offer musicians an interesting harpsichord with a sensible disposition and a very rich sound that is based on an authentic historical model.