A much longed-for documentation of the pianist and piano pedagogue Hans Leygraf’s methodology is now to be found on two DVDs (a Finkernagel & Lück production 2006, 366 minutes approx. Region code: 0). These recordings, made among a selected few of his students in Salzburg, extends from the appropriate way of touching the keys to interpretation of the music as illustrated by practising compositions of Bach, Chopin and Schubert. The DVDs (in German) come with English, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, Corean and Japanese sub-titles.
The first disc is concerned with basic fundamentals and mechanics, whilst in the second students are seen developing their own preferences while still remaining totally aware of piano touch at all times.
2. Chopin: Prélude C minor. Relaxation, armweight, hand concentration
3. Bach: Invention C major. Key contact, finger activity
4. Bach: Invention D minor. Combined finger and arm motion
5. Bach: Invention F major. Increased finger activity
6. Chopin: Prélude E minor. Melodic expression and harmonic accompaniment
7. Chopin: Prélude B minor. Melodic expression and harmonic accompaniment
8. Chopin: Prélude C minor
1. Bach: French suite C minor I-III. Individual interpretation
2. Bach: French suite C minor IV-VI. Individual interpretation
3. Chopin: Nocturne F minor. Emotional freedom through conciousness
4. Schubert: Moment musical No 6 A flat major. Professor Hans Leygraf teaching himself
On DVD 2, part 4, Leygraf teaches himself and comments accordingly:
“In conclusion I myself work on the Moment musical in A-Flat Major by Schubert. With my comments I explain the tasks I’ve set myself. For studying a composition it is of importance to me first to analyse the piece, then to read the score in order to get an idea about the musical content (the way a conductor reads a score), and only afterwards to sit down at the piano and to practise. I’m demonstrating that kind of work in this session.”
Excerpt on staccato from DVD 2, part 2 (Bach’s Air from French Suite no 2):
The DVDs (Euro 45 + shipping and handling) can be ordered through e-mail:
Professor Hans Leygraf was born in 1920 in Stockholm as the son of German-Austrian parents. He studied piano in Stockholm with the Schnabel-student Gottfrid Boon, and with Anna Hirzel-Langenhan in Switzerland. After the war he performed throughout Europe, including the Soviet Union, USA, and Far East. He had appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, in London, Hamburg and Munich, with the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Orchestra under conductors like Blomstedt, Celibidache, Dohnanyi, Dorati, Ehrling, Fricsay, Gielen, Kempe, Sawallisch, Solti, and Szell.
Leygraf taught in Innsbruck, Darmstadt, Stockholm, Hannover and Berlin. From 1972 – 1990 he was a full professor at the Musikhochschule Mozarteum, Salzburg, where up to 2007 he had an international class for highly gifted students.
In Leygraf´s recent discography we find a selection of Haydn Sonatas (2 CDs) recorded in the 1960ies and in 2007 on the DB Productions label, and released during last year (2008).