Bill wrote, concerning Bizzi harpsichords:
> at the risk of litigation, THIS IS JUNK of the worst possible sort.
I am also extremely reluctant to comment adversely on another maker's
work; however I am sorry to say Bill is basically right. A young
professional I know has a Bizzi Italian which I have been called in to
'fix' on several occasions. The wooden jacks are not only badly made, but
of a peculiar modern design with steel wire springs which stick out
precariously from the body of the jack. The dampers are simply bits of
cloth stuck with glue to the sides of the jacks. The plastic plectra appear
to have been voiced with a file. Gaps everywhere in the woodwork; the
hitch-pin rail is pulling away from the side in the treble. The registers
are irregularly spaced so that the plectrum length is fairly random:
moreover in some states of the weather they jam solid in the gap . The
scaling is too long for the brass wire fitted, so that strings frequently
break. There are hard-to-trace knocks and rattles in the keys and action.
In sum, the instrument is extremely unreliable. It grieves me to have to
say that the actual sound is not at all bad.
Of course it was extremely cheap. But the owner pays a high price in
An aspiring player actually needs a good harpsichord even more than an
established one. It is obviously hard for such a player of limited means to
get his hands on one. In practice, they seem to rely on the kindness of
friends and sponsors to finance their first instruments, or sometimes
teachers or established musicians will hire or lend one. But it is
heartbreaking to see potentially good players let down by specious
instruments like B****'s.
Harpsichord and Clavichord Maker
291 Sprowston Mews
London E7 9AE
Tel and fax: +44 (0)20 8519 1170
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