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Gustav Leonhardt

Gustav Leonhardt, the great Dutch harpsichordist, died on Monday.  He gave his last concert in Paris on December 12th, at the Bouffes du Nord, Peter Brook's extraordinary theatre, in the polygot northern parts of the city, across from a grocery store that was once North African but is now (last I looked) Indian, with bins of exotic (to me) vegetables and spices.  Leonhardt too liked the atmosphere there. The day before the concert, at Hélène Cixous's seminar at the Cité Universitaire, several members of the audience were talking about being there, and how it would probably be Leonhardt's last public appearance.

Le Monde, in its obituary, talks about Leonhardt's refusal of easy expressivity and the "extraordinary elegance" of his interpretations, and concludes with Paul Morand's words, from his Journal, that "Le beau, c'est le vrai bien mis."  "The beautiful is the true, well put together."

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I only know Leonhardt from recordings. His performances were an epiphany when our family "discovered" early music.

Thank God for recordings.