compiled by dr. Stuart Frankel
The Claviorganum was not a common instrument - it was very expensive - but it definitely existed and was generally liked. It is mentioned in many inventories and by many theorists such as Banchieri (1605), Praetorius (1619) and Adlung (1720s-1762). Some considered it especially useful for continuo work.
Most of the surviving instruments have been rebuilt or partly destroyed and their original disposition is not always clear. And some old claviorgana were themselves rebuilds of earlier instruments. One thing that *is* clear, however, is that the instrument existed in a very wide variety of forms. Given its musical excellence and versatility - it can function as a harpsichord with prolonged tones, or as an organ with a particularly clear attack, its popularity is not surprising. It was even played by St. Cecilia: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8428555s
Below are some records of historical claviorgana. I have not listed the many pianos with organs (which are also called "claviorgana") because these are not relevant to the Sonus Paradisi instrument.
"Single" or "double" manual refers only to the harpsichord. (Spinets are always single.) The organ is usually a separate manual.***
1547. Inventory of the estate of Henry VIII of England. 5 instruments combining "virginals" (which meant any kind of harpsichord-like instrument) and "regals."
second half of 16th century. South German. C/E (short octave)-c3. Spinet 1x4'. Organ: Gedeckt 4', Flote 2', Zimbel I, Regal 8', Regal 4.
1579. Lodewijk Theeuwes or Theewes (or Tyves or Teeus). Originally from Antwerp, but working in London. Single-manual harpsichord C-c3, 2x8' 1x4' buff. The organ has no low C#. Original disposition perhaps: Stopped diapason 8', Principal 4', Twelfth (treble only), Fifteenth 2', Regal 8'. The organ keyboard was divided; it is not known where.
[1585 Berlotti. Spurious; see 1677.]
1591. Josua Pock. Innsbruck. (Square) virginal 1x8' C/E (short octave)-f3. Organ: Stopped flute 4', Regal 8' (regal goes only to a'). Organ keyboard is divided between d' and d'#.'
1598. Laurentium Hauslaib. Nuremberg. C/E (short octave)-g2, a2. Spinet 1x4'. Organ: Gedeckt 4', Flute 2, Principal 1, Regal 4'.
1600s. Anon. French. Two-manual harpsichord upper: 1x8', lower 1x8' 1x4'. Organ had 3 stops, disposition unknown.
1600s. Anon. Italian. "Organization" of an Annibale del Rossi spinet of 1555. Disposition unknown.
1619. Paul Wissmayer (spinet) and Stefan Cuntz (organ). Nuremberg. C/E (short octave)-f3. Spinet presumably 1x8', organ had 6 stops. Only the lid survives; it has a painting showing the instrument.
1639. Valentin Zeiss. Linz. C/E (short octave)-c3, with a pedalboard C/E-g' coupled to the organ only. Harpsichord 2x8'. Organ 8' 4' 2'.
1646. Valentin Zeiss. Linz. Harpsichord 1x8', lute (close-plucking nasal). No pedalboard. Organ 2' principal; other stops unknown.
1677. Gottlob W. S. Cut. Venice. Harpsichord now GG/BB-c' (short octave), originally C/E-f3 (this is a normal rebuild for Italian harpsichords in the 17th century); 1x8' 1x4. Organ Gedeckt 8' wood, Quinte 5-1/3' wood, Principal 4' metal. Formerly attributed to Berlotti, 1585, on the basis of a nameboard which was originally from another instrument. Cut probably added the organ to an existing harpsichord (but not the one indicated by the nameboard).
Late 1600s. Addition of a set of 8' wooden Gedeckt pipes to a two-manual harpsichord of Jean-Antoine Vaudry.
1712. Herman Willenbrook. Hanover. C,D-c3. Single-manual harpsichord 2x8', 1x4'. Organ: Gedeckt 8' wood.
1745. John Crang. London. 2-manual harpsichord, FF,GG-f3. Upper: 1x8, lute; Lower: 2x8 (dogleg?) 1x4. Organ not original; now: Stopped diapason 8', Flute 4', Flute 2', 15th 2', Mixture, Cornet. The original 4' and 2' stops may have been an octave lower.
1745. Jacob Kirkman (harpsichord) and John Snetzler (organ). London. Single (lower) manual harpsichord; FF,GG-f3, 2x8' 1x4' lute. Upper manual organ: Stopped diapason 8', Open diapason (treble only) 8', Flute 4', Fifteenth 2', Mixture II.
1758. Pieter Assendelft. Leiden. Advertized claviorgana for sale. Details unknown. He may or may not have made them himself.
ca. 1765. V. von Blaha. Prague. Claviorganum maker; details unknown.
1764. Michael and Johann Wagner. Schmiedefeld, Germany. A harpsichord (disposition unknown) combined with a flute stop.
1766-78. François Bédos de Celles describes fitting a 2-manual harpsichord (usually, upper: 1x8' buff; lower: 1x8' 1x4'; coupler) to an organ with registers divided between c'# and d': Bourdon 8', Ouvert 8' (treble only), Prestant 4', Basson 8' (bass only), Hautbois 8' (treble only).
1780. Robert Waffington. London. Single-manual upright harpsichord ("clavicytherium") FF,GG-f3. Original specification unknown (it was converted into a bookcase). Organ 2 stops, a diapason and a flute, details unknown.
1.) Modern claviorgana have sometimes a common keyboard for both parts of the instruments. Two examples below:
2.) Some of the Grove publications (Grove's Dictionary of Musical Instruments, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, etc.) mention:
"From about 1580 to about 1780, many large organs are known to have had a row or two of harpsichord strings, especially those in German court churches, but also in various other places from Sicily to Coventry."
The author is Peter Williams. However, he doesn't give any kind of source or reference. No extant example of such an organ is known to me. If anyone can supply more details on this issue, contributions welcome.
3.) One possible example of an extraordinary rich stop list of a single manual claviorganum is mentioned in the work attributed to Servatius Rorif from Augsburg, the claviorganum (which looks like a Bibleregal perhaps combined with a spinet) had allegedly 18 organ stops. Those stops were just a bunch of special-effect stops probably, not real registers. The photo of the instrument is on the web: http://www.kulturpool.at/plugins/kulturpool/showitem.action?kupoContext=default&itemId=17179921476