Bechtel Harpsichord

Photo Credit: Jeff McCutcheon

Acquired by First Church 2008

This magnificent instrument is a “French Double”, that is, it has two manuals and follows the design features of instruments made by the great French builders of the mid 18th century. It is enhanced by a number of modern features which improve its tuning maintenance but don’t affect the sound or feel.

Built in 2007 by Ben Bechtel (1936-2008) who was also a member of First Congregational Church. In 1981 Mr. Bechtel established a workshop for building a wide variety of instruments for early music. He specialized in harps, gemshorns, and harpsichords. Professionals all over the world perform on a wide range of his instruments. Harpsichords particularly fascinated him, and he devoted special attention to maximizing historical designs that produce reliable instruments with a brilliant sound and an inviting key action.