Friday, January 20, 2012

Keyboard Idol and my Grand-teacher

Baroque Master / Harpsichord Idol Gustav Leonhardt

"We *use* articulation; we don't want to *show* articulation. [...] You think of *what* you have to say, and not *how*." - Gustav Leonhardt
Gustav Leonhardt was my Grand-teacher since he taught Tamara Loring, with whom I've been studying Baroque keyboard for the past several years.

With Tamara, I've been trying to incorporate his HIP (historically inspired performance) styles into my Bach and early music repertoire. It is quite difficult, and I'm far from a master of HIP techniques.

This Leonhardt recording of Bach's E Major Invention is perhaps the best example of his HIP principles that I've been trying to accomplish in my lessons with Tamara. Listen for the way he stretches the downbeat to show you what to listen for in the piece. Here is my rendition of the Invention, before my studies with Tamara.

I hope with much more practice to emulate his masterful sense of rhythmic timing. Tamara told me that Leonhardt's sense of time was so accurate, that at exactly 54 minutes into each of her lessons, he would rise and fold his arms. A signal, without looking at a clock, that the lesson was over. Ah, to have such timing.


David Saslav said...

Love it, Melissa - thanks for those wonderful links to Leonhardt. Do you think in those short quotes he was trying to say "one must understand a phrase and its contextual importance before one sets fingers to keyboard"? Or something else?

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