All aspects of harpsichord
restoration, including structural repair, voicing and stringing
are undertaken. Re-voicing can be in quill, delrin or leather
plectra (if appropriate). Aside from the many C20th instruments
repaired, Fergus has worked on three Kirkman harpsichords and
a C17th spinet by Charles Haward.
The soundboard of a Rubio instrument
undergoing crack repairs.
1973 Rubio harpsichord undergoing
Graebner copy under construction
Harpsichord after J.D.Dulcken
- Antwerp 1745. Made for Penelope Rapson, director Fiori Musicali
Harpsichord after Johann Heinrich
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Harpsichords & Clavichords
Between 1972 and 1986 Ferguson Hoey
produced more than 40 instruments. These ranged from small brass
strung English spinets through to numerous two manual instruments
based on French, Franco-Flemish, Flemish originals.
A manual harpsichord
made by Ferguson Hoey in 1979 after Franco-Flemish models. In 1980
the Times critic Paul Griffiths wrote of this instrument: "One
mark of a good harpsichordist must be that he justifies his choice
of instrument, that he does not waste its specialqualities nor make
one long for the fuller presence of a piano.........the alacrity
in rapid figures and ornaments would have flummoxed any piano, but
a perfect response in the new Ferguson Hoey harpsichord."
Single-manual Flemish harpsichords
were modelled on a variety of examples by makers such as Moermans,
Ruckers and Dulcken. Perhaps the culmination of this period came
in 1983 with a large German harpsichord copied from the 1739 J.H.
Graebner instrument at that time in Schloss Pillnitz, near Dresden
Harpsichord after J.H.Graebner, Dresden
1739. This instrument is the property
of the Marquess of Cholmondeley and is housed in Houghton Hall,
After a break from instrument making
of 25 years, during which time he has been involved in restoration,
research and working modern pianos, Fergus is returning to his musical
roots and once again accepting commissions for instruments.
Institutions that have purchased
Ferguson Hoey instruments include The Music Departments of the Royal
Holloway College, London; Queens Belfast and Cork (Eire).
Among the harpsichordists and organists
owning Hoey harpsichords are Christopher Stembridge, Timothy Roberts,
Penelope Rapson, Ivor Bolton, Gerald Gifford and Kim Marshall in
the USA. The distinguished tenor Gerald English owns one of three
Performers who have used Hoey instruments
for recital work or recordings include Christopher Hogwood, Trevor
Pinnock, Maggie Cole and Gustav Leonhardt.