Munich-born, raised just south of it, jfl quickly fell in love with music. At age four his father gave him the Bach Passions on tape, meticulously recorded from the radio. Church seemed a fine place to use the voice; at just over four the accordion was added to these musical activities. It didn't lead to much, but it probably was quite a sight to see a big head, two hands barely clasping the sides of the big, red Hohner... two feet dangling beneath. That he could read notes before he could read letters lent (eventually disappointed) hope to the family that he might follow in the footsteps of his harpsichordist Uncle whose vinyls of Scarlatti he grew up on.
The first concert attended, a matinee at the Munich Staatsoper of Bruckner (9th Symphony) and Mozart (K.595) may have left a subconscious impression... although at the time he was primarily fascinated how half the orchestra could leave at intermission and they'd still make beautiful music.
He took up the recorder at five and the piano at six, the two only instruments in which he should gain at least a decent amount of proficiency. In fourth grade the piano teacher - who lived upstairs - decided that he should try out for the Regensburger Domspatzen. Once accepted (only the 14th or so non-Catholic Domspatz at the time), said teacher took him to his first opera, Feuersnot at the Staatsoper. (Heinz Fricke conducted then, as he told me recently. I was too little to remember or care.) The choir in Regensburg was wonderful as far as the singing was concerned, but apart from quitting the recorder since there were no teachers at the Regensburger Domspatzen pre-school in Pielenhofen, the pianistic skills plummeted due to laziness and lack of supervision. Sadly, the combined forces of the boarding school environment, Latin, and Math all but ended his active musical pursuits once he successfully ran away from the school.
|This is his favorite recording.|
J.S.Bach, Concertos italiens,
He is a musical omnivore, listening with varying delight to anything from Guillaume de Machaut to Jörg Widmann. Bruckner ("a love"), Haydn, and Bach are musical gods - and he has a particular penchant for less famous, unknown or obscure composers; especially late, conservative Romantics. (Richard & Eduard Franck, J. G. Rheinberger, Hans Rott, Egon Wellesz, Hans Gàl, Eric(h) Zeisl etc.) His cantankerous, unenlightened quarreling with Verdi can rankle the most peace-loving Nabucco-enthusiast. He is happy to (try to) answer any and all questions about Mahler ("an addiction"), or pontificate about favorite recordings (beyond the above) if so encouraged.
All views are his own. Decidedly not his employers'.