Gert Hecher as pianist

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"My enthusiasm for playing the piano and my curiosity, how the great masterpieces of the 19th century might have been realized on the original instruments, were the motives for my engagement in antique pianos and at least the foundation of the Klavieratelier. I played piano since my childhood; so I began to study seriously after school at the Hochschule, now University of Music in Vienna.

The real inition happened in the second section of my studies, in which Alexander Rössler was my teacher. By him I heard about a devastated Streicher-fortepiano, which I finally could buy for a reasonable price. As a student without means I decided to restore my fortepiano by myself; therefore I had to learn the principles of craftsmanship and restoration. In this time I was kindly supported and trained by Alfons Huber, restorer at the Collection of Antique Musical Instruments in the Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna and Alexander Langer, master craftsman of piano building in Klagenfurt, Carinthia.

So I spent several years with practicing piano, my studies, restoring my piano and writing my master-thesis, which was dedicated to the performance-practise of Schubert's piano-music on a historic fortepiano.

With the Gamerith-Consort I toured one and a half year through various European countries. To play chambermusic of Haydn and Mozart on an original Walter-grand from about 1800 was absolutely influencing and "correcting" my playing and my fingertechnique - I had to change from the modern piano to a very early type of the fortepiano.

1992, shortly after my diploma, I recorded my first CD, Poetic Piano Music of Franz Liszt, played on a Steinway-concergrand. In 1994 I recorded my most succesful CD for Dorian Recordings in New York, Piano sonatas by Muzio Clementi, played on an Andre Stein-fortepiano in the Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna, followed 1997 by a CD with Lieder of Franz Schubert, together with Helena Dearing, soprano and Helmut Faltynek, historical clarinet, for the Viennese company Zulus Records, played on a grand of Walter&Sohn of the Technical Museum in Vienna. This year a remarkable CD will be released in Berlin. There I played Schubert's B flat-major Sonata D 960 on Carl Maria von Weber's Brodmann-grand; the CD also contains the very first recording of the first version of the slow movement.

This CD is the recording of a lecture recital, as I give them very often together with the prominent musicologist Walburga Litschauer, e. g. in Vienna, Berlin, London or Cambridge.

In Japan I played TV-recitals for NHK and in the famous "Suntory Hall". The two recitals in the legendary "Streicher-Hall" in Vienna and in the Viennese Musikverein, dedicated to the 200th anniversery of Johann Baptist Streicher's birthday in 1997, were personally important events for me.
In the meantime I play more or the less exclusively on historic pianos, because for me they are absolutely better corresponding with classical and romantic piano-music (see also "Antique pianos").
Many people have the opinion that fortepianos are not strong enough for large modern halls. From my experiance I can say that these pianos have remarkable capabilities for a supporting and colorful tone, if they are played properly, i. e. delicacy of fingertouch without striking the keys out of the arm. If one has recognized, how such an instrument has to be played, it will be finally easier and more logical than on a modern piano, to generate the athmospheric sound, which is so peculiar to all romantic piano-music."

Gert Hecher

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Schönbrunn castle
Kongreßhaus Villach
Santory Hall, Tokio
Society of Music, Tokio
Klaviermuseum Schloß Stoitzendorf

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„..Gert Hecher, dessen subtile Begleitung, dessen anpassungsfähiger Vortrag sehr für sich einnahm.“ (Wiener Zeitung)

„...Gert Hecher: Ein sensibel-aufmerksamer, bombensicherer Klavierpartner.“ (Arbeiterzeitung)

„[Gert Hecher] plays here with dazzling fluency and immense authority a superb fortepiano...“ ; „...in Gert Hecher´s imaginative hands the music often sounds as spontaneous and flowing as inspired improvisation.“ (Classic CD)

„Gert Hecher pours out his relaxed, firm, tender, introspective, heart-felt, longlined musicality on a warm welltuned fortepiano...“ (THE DAILY TIMES)

„Pianist Gert Hecher easily unravels Clementi´s musical knots, and still more important, he conveys the sweetness of character in these sonatas.“ (TIMES UNION, Albany, N. Y.)

„Hechers Stärken lagen ganz eindeutig beim Ausdruck, hier legte er eine zarte Anschlagskunst an den Tag, befleißigte sich statt deftiger Prankenhiebe eines feingliedrigen Tons und ließ auch ... gewitzten Charme aufblitzen“ (Generalanzeiger, Bonn)

„Hechers Interpretation der Lisztschen Klangwelt ... ist sicherlich ein Meilenstein“ (Die Presse)

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