Gustav Leonhardt



Born: May 30, 1928; Amsterdam, Netherlands   Died: January 16, 2012; Amsterdam, Netherlands  
Though participants in the "authentic performance practice" movement might insist otherwise, the search for the old is really a search for the new. This statement certainly captures the spirit that Dutch keyboardist Gustav Leonhardt began bringing to his early music performances in the 1950s. His style was characterized not by a rigorous observance of rules, but by the intuitive, almost spiritual connection it tried to establish with the music -- Read more a kind of authenticity that sought validation not so much from a rigorously academic accuracy (though Leonhardt is by no means historically careless) as from its having an "authentic" effect on the listener.

Born in Amsterdam in 1928, Leonhardt learned cello and piano before entering the Schola Cantorum in Basel to study organ and harpsichord with Eduard Müller. After graduating in 1950, he undertook a year of musicological studies before accepting a position at the Vienna Academy. Shortly thereafter, he returned to his home town, where he assumed a position at the Amsterdam Conservatory that he would keep for decades thereafter.

His first public performance took place in 1950, when he performed J.S. Bach's The Art of the Fugue for a Viennese audience. This marked the beginning of a legendary and influential career that would take him to performance venues all over the world, setting stylistic and interpretive standards for keyboard music dating from the early 1500s to the late 1700s. His treatment of the works of Couperin, Froberger, and Frescobaldi were pivotal in affecting a shift in Baroque performance practice from the motoric to the malleable.

Beginning in the 1950s, he also established the Leonhardt Consort, a group applying his same performance ideals to chamber works; during his career he also demonstrated great skill in conducting early choral and operatic works. Along the way, he tutored an entire generation of the most vibrant and stylistically varied early music figures, including Christopher Hogwood, Pierre Hantaď, and Ton Koopman.

When Leonhardt speaks of "correct" style, certain parameters are clear, while others leave much to be read between the lines. The use of the proper instrument, for example, is crucial to Leonhardt: one should not play a piece from a particular country and a particular time on an instrument from a different region and century (and of course it goes without saying what problems he might have with playing eighteenth century music on a twentieth century Steinway). His discussion of style, however, is quite flexible -- or at least elusive: "I cannot say it's a secret, but it's almost impossible to describe in words....Essentially, it must be based on a dynamic wish." Though he does consult primary sources to justify his sound -- which falls somewhere between the rubato sound of Landowska and the robotic sound of her immediate successors, he insists that the truest "rules" about the music he plays are to be discovered through the playing itself. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 82 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4
  • 1.
    Les maitres du Baroque
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 372 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Jean-Baptiste Lully  ... 
    Performer:  Tomas Kral,  Daniel Elgersma,  Philippe Froeliger,  Lionel Meunier  ... 
    Conductor:  Chiara Banchini,  Lionel Meunier,  Raphaël Pichon,  Vincent Dumestre  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble 415,  Vox Luminis,  Café Zimmermann  ... 
    CD: $37.49
    Back Order
    CD:  $37.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Baroque Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832158 Release Date: 06/30/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel North,  Christopher Hirons,  Christophe Rousset,  Ottavio Dantone  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinhard Goebel,  Philip Pickett,  Christopher Hogwood,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Antiqua Cologne,  New London Consort,  Academy of Ancient Music  ... 
    CD: $29.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $29.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    History of the Organ: From Latin Origins to the Modern Age
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109326 Release Date: 02/17/2017   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Pierre Attaingnant,  Antonio De Cabezón,  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Francisco Correa de Arauxo  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Foccroulle,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Hans Heintze,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    CD: $63.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $63.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Vivarte Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 2367 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Schäfer,  Jonas Will,  Johannes Pohl,  Harry Van der Kamp  ... 
    Conductor:  Konrad Ruhland,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frieder Bernius,  Bruno Weil  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Niederaltaich Scholars,  Tölz Boys Choir,  Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $67.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $69.98   CD:  $67.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Bach, Bull, Byrd, Gibbons, Hassler, Pachelbel, Ritter & Strogers; Harpsichord Works / Leonhardt
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 317 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Leo Hassler,  Nicholas Strogers,  William Byrd,  John Bull  ... 
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos, Violin Concertos & Harpsichord Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88725463862 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
    Performer:  Bob van Asperen,  Anthony Woodrow,  Frans Brüggen,  Gustav Leonhardt  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Jeanne Lamon
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    The Organ in the Renaissance & Baroque / Leonhardt
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 796457 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Newman,,  Elias Nikolaus Ammerbach,  Taylor,,  John Blitheman  ... 
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt
    CD: $21.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 8.
    Vivaldi, Marcello, Platti, Handel, Telemann, Corelli & Hotteterre: Concertos & Sonatas for Wind Instruments
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88725463932 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  George Frideric Handel,  Jacques Hotteterre,  Alessandro Marcello  ... 
    Performer:  Frans Brüggen,  Anner Bylsma,  Bob van Asperen,  Hansjurg Lange  ... 
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Museum Trio,  Orchestra of the 18th Century
    On sale!
    CD: $28.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $29.98   CD:  $28.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 9.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Leonhardt
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554599 Release Date: 04/15/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt
    CD: $13.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $13.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Sweelinck: Complete Keyboard Works / van der Kamp, Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam
    Label: Glossa   Catalog: 922410 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Anonymous,  Jacob Praetorius,  Jan Utenhove  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Winsemius,  Harry Van der Kamp,  Harry van Berne,  Nele Gramß  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Van der Kamp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gesualdo Consort
    CD: $48.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $48.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 11.
    Telemann: Tafelmusik
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 694572 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Performer:  Joke Vermeulen,  Brian Pollard,  Frans Vester,  Gustav Leonhardt  ... 
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Amsterdam
    CD: $34.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $34.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 12.
    Das Alte Werk - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
    CD: $230.49
    In Stock
    CD:  $230.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Handel: Water Music - Masterpieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564651683 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Lowell Mason,  Anonymous
    Performer:  Richard [Tenor Vocal] Morton,  Felicity Palmer,  John Angelo Messana,  Felicity Lott  ... 
    Conductor:  John E. Gardiner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Les Musiciens du Louvre
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 14.
    Frans Bruggen Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 65836 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Barsanti,  Francesco Maria Veracini  ... 
    Performer:  Frans Brüggen,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Anner Bylsma,  Alda Stuurop  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brüggen-Consort
    CD: $63.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $63.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 15.
    Elly Ameling - The Early Recordings Vol 1
    Label: Dhm Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 26613 Release Date: 12/21/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Performer:  Angelica May,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Elly Ameling,  Hans-Martin Linde
    Conductor:  Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden,  Rudolf Pohl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Aureum
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 16.
    The Arhend & Brunzema Organ - Amsterdam's Oude Kerk / Leonhardt, Imbruno
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 5700010 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Scheidemann,  Anthoni Van Noordt,  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Matteo Imbruno
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 17.
    All-Baroque Box (From Monteverdi To Bach) [50-CD Limited Edition]
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001719702 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Harvey,  Stephen Varcoe,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Paul McCreesh,  Marc Minkowski,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Gabrieli Consort  ... 
    CD: $138.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $138.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 18.
    A Tribute To Gustav Leonhardt: The Last Recordings
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 815 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  François Couperin,  Abraham van den Kerckhove,  Johann Caspar Fischer,  Georg Muffat  ... 
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Pablo Valetti
    Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Café Zimmermann
    CD: $37.49
    Back Order
    CD:  $37.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 19.
    Bach: French Suites, Inventions, Sinfonias, Italian Concerto / Gustav Leonhardt
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 796257 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt
    CD: $19.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 20.
    The Complete Bach Edition
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 664202 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 154
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Max van Egmond,  Kurt Equiluz,  Paul Esswood,  Walter Gampert  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Ton Koopman,  Jaap Schröder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Chorus Viennensis,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
    CD: $437.49
    In Stock
    CD:  $437.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 21.
    Bach - Earthly and Divine [6 CDs+Book]
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 889 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Raphaël Imbert,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Jean-Luc Di Fraya,  Raphaël Imbert,  André Rossi,  Jean-Marc Fabiano  ... 
    Conductor:  Raphaël Imbert,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Raphaël Pichon,  Françoise Lasserre  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Café Zimmermann,  Akademia Ensemble,  La Chapelle Royale  ... 
    CD: $68.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $68.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 22.
    The Bach Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 80821 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Angela Maria Blasi,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Alan Curtis,  Ton Koopman  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Ton Koopman,  Hans Gillesberger
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 23.
    Louis Couperin: Suites & Pavane / Gustav Leonhardt
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 69281 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Couperin
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt
    ArkivCD $16.99
    In Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 24.
    Bach: Partitas / Gustav Leonhardt
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47996 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt
    On sale! $29.98
    ArkivCD $24.99
    Special Order
    On sale!   $29.98   ArkivCD:  $24.99 Add to Cart

  • 25.
    100 Best Concertos
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64739 Release Date: 03/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Christian Zacharias,  Francois-René Duchable  ... 
    Conductor:  Libor Pesek,  Lawrence Foster,  Hans Vonk,  Michel Plasson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

1 2 3 4