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During the 18th century, the manufacturing of harpsichords is reaches its climax ; they are large instruments, with a wide and blooming sound range, powerful low and brilliant high sounds; they complement the more and more expressive orchestral music. In their compositions, Couperin and Rameau exploit this intensity to the full. But this perfection is a prelude to decline. Very soon, a victim of changing tastes, the harpsichord will abandon its dominance to the pianoforte, seen as an incarnation of progress, cherished as a creed by the Enlightened men.
Jacques Duphly will write the last pages of the French harpsichord history, with works where nobility vie with eloquence. Born in 1715, the year of Louis XIV's death and buried the 15th of July 1789, just before the Revolution, he represents the perfect summary of an art that once irradiated the whole of Europe.