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Christian Kuhlmann - Atelier für Cembalobau


1. J.S. Bach -Toccata in e-Moll BWV 914

2. J.-P. Sweelinck - Fantasia chromatica

3. J.-P. Rameau - L’Enharmonique

4. J.-P. Rameau - L’Égiptienne

5. J.S. Bach - Chromatische Fantasie und Fuge d-moll BWV 903

The Vat(t)er-Hemsch harpsichord stems from an idea, that has been explored in the many years that I have been working intensively on the original of Henri Hemsch from 1751. My invention now offers the possibility to combine two slightly different sound characters in this harpsichord.
In the implementation of this project I have designed a construction, that works with a second, removable soundboard to be placed inside the harpsichord.
With this second soundboard, the sound becomes even more telling and concise, so this variant brings this harpsichord even more polyphonic qualities - very nice to hear in the sound of the Bach Toccata and Sweelinck's Chromatic Fantasie. With the 2nd soundboard, the harpsichord also gets a greater assertiveness, be it as a continuo instrument or as a soloist instrument in the ensemble.
If I take this second soundboard out again, Henri Hemsch comes to speech ... with all his own extraordinary qualities, to be heard in the Rameau but also in the Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue of Bach. On 19.03.2017 Justin Taylor played in the Sendessal in Bremen the presentation of my Vat(t)er-Hemsch harpsichord, here f.e. the sound examples of Bach, Rameau and Sweelinck been recorded live.
The Prelude in G minor by Georg Böhm - played by Sara Johnson Huidobro - serves as a direct comparison of the two sound variants. For a better sound quality you may download the sound files (.wav) here. (x= 1 soundboard; 2x= 2 soundboards)

A reference of Justin Taylor from Paris, 16.07.2016:
" I played the Vatter-Hemsch harpsichord of Christian Kuhlmann a few weeks after it was finished. The sound was already the one of an ancient harpsichord !
In addition, this instrument is really easy to play on. You have almost the feeling it can play by itself ! The refined harmonisation allows a lot of subtle dynamics with an appropriate toucher.
As I said, the sound is quite fascinating. The whole instrument « sings », and the deepness of the lower notes is enlightened by the shine of the upper notes.
The musician’s choice ! "