This coming Sunday night/Monday morning, we’re going to have a special edition of the Galaxy, as we’ll be paying tribute to the important musicologist and keyboardist Gustav Leonhardt, who passed away back in January 16th. Leonhardt was a pioneer in the period instrument movement, as a soloist, ensemble member and as a conductor. His collaborations with Nicholas Harnoncourt, which include recording the complete set of Bach canatas (a process that took many years, and the first time that had ever been done), rank among some of the most prestigious achievements of the late 20th century. He was a preeminent performer on the harpsichord and pipe organ, with numerous important recordings of many works of the baroque era and earlier. He also was a noted instructor of keyboard technique, and his students include many of today’s most important keyboardists musicologists and conductors, including Christopher Hogwood, Alan Curtis, Richard Egarr, John Fesperman, Davitt Moroney, Martin Pearlman, Colin Tilney, Bob van Asperen, Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, among others, many of whom are regularly featured on this program. His recordings and research constitute a primary influence on the direction of this show – even when I wasn’t playing his recordings (which I have on numerous occasions over the years), I have often used selection criteria that is influenced in part by the movement that he helped launch back in the 1950s. He might not be as big a name as, say, Luciano Pavarotti, but his influence on performance and recording practices is probably much greater.
A Tribute to Gustav Leonhardt – coming up Sunday night, March 25/26, on the Galaxy on WDBX.
- In Memoriam Gustav Leonhardt (musicproject365.com)
- Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichordist, Dies at 83 (nytimes.com)
- The Galaxy – Demonstrating the art of the fugue (wdbx.wordpress.com)
- Classical music: It’s time to catch up on obituaries for early music pioneer Gustav Leonhardt; African-American opera pioneer Camilla Williams; and left-handed Finnish conductor Paavo Berglund. (welltempered.wordpress.com)
- Gustav Leonhardt obituary (guardian.co.uk)
- Gustav Leonhardt: Harpsichordist who brought about a revolution in early music (independent.co.uk)