Gustav Leonhardt: In Memoriam

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gustav Leonhardt, a monumental figure in the music world passed away on Jan. 16 at age 83. Many know Leonhardt as a master harpsichordist and organist. He was also a leading expert in the field of performance practice; in layman’s terms, that’s performing music on the instruments for which it was written.

This may seem common now, but 50 years ago, Leonhardt shook the musical world and paved the way for today’s historically-informed performances. In addition to his teaching and virtuoso keyboard skills, he was also a brilliant conductor and lover of choral music.

Leonhardt left us a treasure trove of essential recordings, which remain vibrantly fresh today. On the Choral Mix, we honor the musical legacy of the great Gustav Leonhardt with a choral retrospective. We will miss his music making, but are ever so grateful to have access to all the wonderful recordings he left behind.


Biber /Steffani/ Biber: Requiem à 15; Steffani: Stabat Mater/ Koor and Barokokest van de Nederlandse Bachvereiniging, Gustav Leonhardt
Introitus Requiem


Bach/ Mass B Minor/ Netherlands Bach Society Collegium Musicum and La Petite Bande, Gustav Leonhardt

Et incarnatus est
Et resurrexit


Steffani/ Biber: Requiem à 15; Steffani: Stabat Mater/ Koor and Barokokest van de Nederlandse Bachvereiniging, Gustav Leonhardt


Stabat Mater:
Stabat Mater
Cujus animam
Quando corpus morietur


Bach/ St Matthew:Passion/ Tolzer Knabenchor and La Petite Bande, Gustav Leonhardt

Aria: So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen
Sind blitze, sind Donner
Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht
Wir setzen uns


Monteverdi/ Vespers for the feast of St John the Baptist/ Netherlands Chamber Choir and the Monteverdi Ensemble Amsterdam, Gustav Leonhardt
Dixit Dominus

Comments [4]

Michael Meltzer

Splendid memorial, Kent, and the Monteverdi was a spellbinding conclusion. Your personal connection through your teacher Leonard Raver, whom I remember very well, made it all the more poignant.

Jan. 30 2012 12:06 AM
gg from Syosset NY 11791

such a great way to remember, thank you !

Jan. 29 2012 11:52 PM
Vilma Oman from Jamaica, NY

After decades listening to your (only) competitor's annual Christmas Bach Festival, I feel like Maestro Leonhardt was, at least, my uncle. As a three year piano student, I hear his work every time I struggle through what little of Bach I can manage. Thank you so much for acknowledging and celebrating his huge contribution. I mourn his passing deeply.

Jan. 29 2012 07:10 PM
Michael Meltzer

Maestro Leonhardt's lifetime of contribution and his passing were, mysteriously, completely overlooked by WQXR until now. Kudos to you for making the air time for this tribute and retrospective.

Jan. 29 2012 04:59 AM

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