Tip of the hat to Karen Holvik

Fascinating to hear how many different interpretations a few famous chords can receive from major performers. The thirty-six examples here range from a 1921 piano roll by the composer to a 2010 recording from Caracas:

Tip of the hat to Robert Fink


The Tijdschrift Oude Muziek (Early Music Journal) has printed a tribute from the well-known former student of Gustav Leonhard. Many thanks to Semibrevity, who has made and notified me of his English translation.

At this link there is a video from another Bach cantata conducted by the late master (to supplement this complete one that we’ve posted before), the audio of a complete Purcell Ode on St. Cecelia’s Day, as well as a rare 1959 Bach harpsichord performance from a radio broadcast and a 1965 Amsterdam Waalsekerk (Waldensian Church) organ recital performance. All these are provided by Radio 4 in the Netherlands.

Pianists who accompany singers prefer the term collaborative pianist to the old term accompanist. In truth, there are many cases in which the piano part is actually of more importance than that of the “soloist.” One thinks of the works that Beethoven (though not modern programs) called Sonata for Piano and Violin, or compositions like the Hindemith Sonata for Tuba and Piano, where the tuba almost plays a bit part.

But singers are in a position to overshadow their necessary collaborator, even when — as in lieder — the piano part may actually be at least an equal protagonist. There are great singers like Marilyn Horne and Frederica von Stade who never cease, however, to praise the man “in the crook of whose piano I’ve stood all these years.” The deserving artist in question, Martin Katz, gives a telling interview here.

Book in the Pipeline

March 1, 2012

There has been a lacuna in posts here lately because of my being busy with getting a book to press. You’ll be seeing more about that here — and, I hope, elsewhere!

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