I have discovered the worst harpsichord in Britain. Well, the worst I’ve had the opportunity to play so far. I was spoiled as an undergraduate to have access to a Rubio (a copy, apparently, of Blanchet’s 1733 Chateau de Thoiry harpsichord). This one is not in quite the same league.
Here is a recording of me playing Bach’s sublime G minor Sinfonia, BWV 797, on my piano.
And the same piece on the harpsichord.
I won’t name the owner or location of this instrument, for reasons of respect, though perhaps someone will recognise it. One ought to feel some pity that a presumably once playable instrument now sounds like something John Cage knocked together, but I have a suspicion that this harpsichord was never of the first rank. It is sad that it has been so neglected, but I’m sure I’m not alone in finding beauty even in out-of-tuneness.