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From exquisite Stradivarius violins and epic organs to lavishly decorated harpsichords, this is the Baroque at its most spectacular
The composer's of the French Baroque may have loved their flurries of notes, and they wanted their instuments just as eloborate. This one's frequestly put through its paces by Early Music maestro, Christophe Rousset
Violin makers are still stumped as to why the Stradivarius instruments are so difficult to replicate - both in terms of their sound, and design. Perhaps it had something to do with Stradivari's incredible carving skill, demonstrated here on the edges of the Cipriani Potter violin.
Made in 1972, this virginal is a copy of a 1650 instrument built in Antwerp, Belgium. It was owned by the late, great champion of early music Christopher Hogwood. You can bid for it on Thursday 12 March 2015 at Gardiner Houlgate - the Bath Auction Rooms. Estimated price: £8000-12000.
Mozart tinkled on this exquisite instrument, now on display in a room where the composer stayed on occasions, between 1787 and 1791 at Bertramka Villa, Prague. Photo: Getty
This unfretted clavichord was made in Hamburg in 1761. The interior has a beautiful soundboard painted with tulips, cornflowers and an iris. It was also owned by Christopher Hogwood and could be yours for £30,000-£40,000.
The lid of this stunning harpsichord depicts a personification of the city of Amsterdam, seated on a throne with her feet on a river god, commanding the world with some help from Neptune. Photo: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
This stunning 'Archinto' Stradivarius viola dates from 1696. Stradivarius made only ten violas, and only two are still playable. This is one of them, played here by Philip Dukes. Photo: Getty
In 1711, Freiberg Cathedral in Germany commissioned this spectacular organ from J.S. Bach's friend Gottfried Silbermann. Mozart reckoned that his instruments were 'magnificent beyond measure’. Silbermann’s admirers refer to its ‘Silberklang’ or ‘silvery sound’.
This Flemish muselaar - a type of virginal - is illustrated within the lid with a magnificent painting of Orpheus and Eurydice cavorting in the countryside.
The lute was used in a wide variety of instrumental music from the Medieval to the late Baroque eras and was the most important instrument for secular music in the Renaissance.The player of a lute could be called a lutenist, lutanist, lewtist or lutist, and a maker of lutes is a luthier. Photo: Getty
Another of Christopher Hogwood's magnificent instruments. This fretted clavichord was built in Nuremberg around 1790. You can bid for it on Thursday 12 March 2015 at Gardiner Houlgate - the Bath Auction Rooms. Estimated price: £15000-20000.
This hurdy-gurdy from 1780 is a stringed instrument that produced its sound by a crank-turned wheel rubbing against the strings. It was a favourite instrument among street musicians and both Vivaldi and Mozart were fans. In the 18th century French court at Versailles, the nobles played at being peasants and brought the instrument into their festivities. Photo: Frinck
The clavichord was very popular from the 16th century to the 18th century, but mainly flourished in German-speaking countries, Scandinavia, and the Iberian Peninsula in the latter part of the Baroque era. Most of the instruments built before the 1730s were small - about four feet long. Photo: Gerard Janot.
The church of St. Botolph without Aldgate in London - where author Daniel Defoe got married in 1683 - is home to the U.K.’s most ancient church organ, dating from around 1704/5. Photo © St. Botolph without Aldgate.
This stunning virginal was created in Venice in 1566. It's now on display at the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg. Photo: Anagoria