Mozart's Fortepiano with Marie Kuijken
Time & Location
About the Event
Enjoy Mozart and Haydn's keyboard music on this instrument, which is said to be one of the finest Mozartian fortepianos actually in use on the modern concert stage! You’ll experience a glance over the composers' shoulders: the feather-light touch and crystal-clear tones of this instrument show us how his music “felt” under Mozart’s fingers and how it sounded in the ears of his public. This concert is the second in a series of Mozart/Haydn fortepiano solo recitals on Sparrow Live, directly from Marie Kuijken's house in Italy.
This instrument: copy after Stein ca. 1780
In the 1970ties, Belgian instrument builder Claude Kelecom created his first faithful copy of an original Stein fortepiano in Augsburg. Subsequently, this instrument has been used for important historical recordings by eminent pianists as Van Immerseel, Devos and Lubimov. Since the late 90s, this very instrument is owned by Marie Kuijken, who carries it with her on concert tours and has made various recordings with it for Challenge Classics. She also performs regularly at her home, with this instrument and her other keyboard instruments (a copy of 1680 Vaudry harpsichord and a 1906 Steinway&Sons piano).
J.A.Stein & the fortepiano
Johann Andreas Stein was an important organ- and fortepiano-builder and became the founder of an important piano-making dynasty. About fifteen instruments bearing Stein's label survive, ranging in date from 1780 to 1794.
Mozart has personally known Johan Andreas Stein and loved his instruments, as we can read in a famous letter he wrote to his father, in which he describes their technical and musical qualities after visiting Stein’s atelier.
Stein's children and grandchildren continued piano building: his daughter Nanette together with her husband Andreas Streicher and later with their son and grandson to one hand; and to the other hand her brother Matthäus André (who build the instrument young Clara Schumann received from her father in 1828) and his son Carl Stein. The Stein/Streicher piano-building dynasty lasted more than 100 years and contributed a great deal to the evolution of the fortepiano towards the modern piano.
Fortepianist, soprano, opera coach, and stage director Marie Kuijken was born into the Belgian musical family Kuijken, pioneers in the field of historically informed performance practice. She studied piano at the Brussels Royal Conservatory in the nineties and has been living in Italy since 2002. After her diploma, she autonomously specialized in the Mozartian fortepiano. Over the years she’s regularly performed the fortepianist in Belgium, Italy, throughout
Europe and in Turkey – including solo recitals, in duo with her father Sigiswald Kuijken, with her sister Veronica Kuijken, and more.
As a soprano, Marie Kuijken specializes in 18th century repertory. She’s collaborated with baroque orchestra La Petite Bande in numerous productions, performing sacred music, and opera alike. In the late nineties, she made an autonomous study on rhythmical prose, performing 18th century German spoken melodrama as an actress with orchestra. This fascinating experience led her to further studies over the years, especially on the poetic rhythm of 18th century Italian opera-libretti. In this way she rediscovered the 18th century art of musical declamation. Simultaneously, during the years as a singing actress, she incorporated the art of Baroque Gesture into her own theatrical body language.
As these knowledge and practices matured into a comprehensive vision of historically informed performance & staging of 18th century opera, Marie Kuijken naturally evolved into an expressivity coach for opera singers, and into an operatic stage director. From 2012 on, together with Sigiswald Kuijken, she has been leading the La Petite Bande Academy where she has coached and staged singers using her unique approach. Since 2014, she has led and staged productions of Haydn and Hasse operas with La Petite Bande; in 2016 and 2019 she has staged student productions at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur (CNSMDP). Thanks to her unique vision and approach, historically informed opera performance becomes a fresh, warmhearted and joyous experience for the public and for the singers involved.
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