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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

R.I.P. Dept. - Gustav Leonhardt passed away on January 16th...


The great harpsichordist, organist and conductor, the man of great taste who, with Frans Bruggens, Wieland and Sigiswald Kujiken, Kees Otten, Anner Bylsma and a bunch of (quiet) daredevils forged the European ancient music, its praxis and authors as we know and appreciate today... played on original instruments, with minimalist recordings on Telefunken "Royal Sound" AW series vs. the overproduced/multimiked Deutsche Gramophone's, before Arkiv label...

Think about some recordings on DG by Richter and his - at the time - recently made harpsichord... Bach's masterpieces were sometimes sounding like played on a Petrof:-))) grand-piano!

After Gustav Leonhardt, Bach and several other composers from XVI, XVII and XVIII Century, someway clicked as pretty "right" to our younger ears... I attended to his concerts every time I had the opportunity... dozens of times, actually, as I loved his music and playing and cherished to these present days ALL his records on Telefunken's from early '60s onward.

His calm, forceful, tasty musical approach was simply unique: measured, classy with a never tiring and tired attitude, always unveiling hidden masterpieces at every concert and recording.

I'll miss him a lot, his elegant, calm walking in and out of the stage... I (humbly) learned a lot from him... first of all to love harpsichord and its extremely broad palette after you digest his apparently boring dinosaur-like character.

After and thanking him came Blandine Verlet, Ton Koopman, Scott Ross, Davitt Moroney and a few more... but as the first love is never forgotten and always missed, Maestro Leonhard remained among the most beloved of yours truly.

R.I.P. for him and condolences to his family, friends and fellow musicians who appreciated his elegance for decades...

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