F. Schubert :: Gretchen Am Spinnrade

I am a born diplomat. If that obvious statement would cause you some confusion, I am rather sure that those of you who have the very doubtful honor of knowing me in real life, will step forward with pleasure to tell you that this actually is very true, that I am not that kind of person that ventilates strong opinions.
Moreover, that I don't have any strong opinions that would need any ventilation, that I am that kind of person that always fit right into the opinions of others and agree with the man on my left who's having a furious debate with the woman on my right, with whom I cannot agree more.

So, when I post a recording of a solo version of Schubert's Erlkönig, a recording that as I notice, causes some strong debates whether one should play that music on that instrument or not, my first reaction would be far from making a second Schubert recording. That is exactly the kind of person I am.

How honest can I be?


The smiley is for the slow under stander. I know myself...

No, there is no strategy connected to this channel. I simply wake up in the morning, open the lid of the clavichord, play the music I like and think sounds great on it, reflect a bit on the do's and the don'ts, put op the microphones, the camera's, and share my experience with you.
I realize that it may look as if I'd had a written out strategy, but that is just because I do love my instrument so much, that I cannot help from shouting this from as many roofs as I can.

I DO love my clavichord. So much, that I would not know what to do without. I have a clear fire escape plan in my head: rescuing the kids, looking after my wife and thirdly taking my clavichord on my back and running outside. I even would want to practice this, but that would go to far... I convince myself that I can take 40 kg.

Other thing: I'm so incredible relieved when returning home from a concert, that the clavichord made it again. You know, a simple collision on the go can ruin it... even in my Volvo.

I even considered asking Joris to built a second one, exactly as the one I own. I had long discussions with him, about the qualities of my instrument, qualities that he recognize, of course, but never copied in another instrument.

He always experiments with details of construction and design, and that result always in instruments that share a very similar core (they are all part of the family), but with a different character. Finally, for his n°42 (he is building his 50th instrument now), he agreed to my strange request and that instrument (now somewhere in Hongkong I believe), is VERY similar to mine. I played on it and that was a huge relief: he can do it if he wants to.

I remember him smiling at that moment... you thought I couldn't do it, no?

I granted him that little moment of victory, that wasn't about victory, since I knew he would be able to make an instrument that could be seen as a twin of mine.

I know this sound strange, especially to who hasn't felt that strong connection to an instrument, but it is like that. This clavichord is an essential part of my life. Period.

And so I played Gretchen. Again Schubert, a very sober transcription of August Horn. And I liked what I heard. You'll have to listen to the Afterthoughts the 22d. I'll talk a bit about that issue as well. But the "wood" sound of the spin wheel is very present here. To my ears, this works, yes much different to a performance on a modern grand, but speaking of sound: this comes close to what I believe was in the ears of the great master when he catched the idea for this piece.

O, I can't wait much longer for the pianoforte to come.
How much I do love my clavichord.

Have a nice day!


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