This recording of Balbastres Pièces de clavecin was made using a recent copy of the harpsichord built by Jean-Henri Hemsch in 1736. Hemsch is regarded as one of the most important Parisian harpsichord builders. Born near Cologne in 1700 as Johann Heinrich, he moved to Paris at the age of 28 to spend six years as an apprentice to Antoine Vater, another German émigré. Hemsch left the service of Vater to become an independent builder in 1734 and began work on his first instrument, finished two years later. The proportions of this instrument resemble those of the later harpsichords built by his master, Vater, on which Hemsch worked as an apprentice, although some characteristic details are Hemschian innovations. The resulting instrument is a double manual disposed with two eight foot choirs and one four foot, giving a very unusual level of colour diversity within each register - a quality only very few modern builders are capable of reproducing. Later in his career, Hemsch became supplier and tuner of harpsichords to the art patron la Pouplinière, who accommodated Jean-Philippe Rameau as well as promoting his work. The original instrument from 1736, rarely copied because of its complexity, is at present to be found in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, U.S. of A. The award-winning instrument used on this recording was built by Augusto Bonza (Turbigo, 2011). It takes a place of honour in Korneel Bernolet’s collection.