Cioran escreveu que sem Bach, Deus seria apenas um mero coadjuvante. Sem Gustav Leonhardt, o que teria sido Bach e a Música Antiga?
Although Leonhardt regarded Bach as “the greatest genius that ever lived in the history of music”, he readily admitted, in an interview with The Scotsman in 2001, that in the early days of his research “the early music scene was all a bit black and white”. He made it his mission to inject more colour into the early music spectrum. Couperin and Leroux became staple composers of a Leonhardt recital. Telemann was never far away, and the music of Ritter, Böhm and Reincken gradually received an airing.
To those who said that the sound of the harpsichord was too thin to carry in a modern hall, he insisted that it was the audience, not the venue that should change. “When the ear of the listener can adapt to that level and refinement, it is one of the finest instruments around,” he insisted.
The silver-haired figure, with his high forehead and long craggy face, would reverently approach the harpsichord, raising the casket’s lid in an almost funereal manner before bringing life to the music of the long-dead composers whose cause he championed with such reserved passion.
Wednesday 18 January 2012