AUTHENTIC SOUND: CHALLENGING CLASSICAL MUSIC ON CLAVICHORD


Authentic Sound writes "Challenging classical music on clavichord. First vinyl release of German composer Pachelbel. Put a unique instrument, a devoted musician, analog recording and a successful YouTube channel with more than 13,000 YouTube subscribers together and you get Authentic Sound, created by Wim Winters. What makes the brand stand out, is the care for every piece that makes Authentic Sound a unique company and a lasting passion for details and innovation. This vision led to a first successful start-up and a continuation of current and upcoming projects, with as first the vinyl release of the recording of German composer Pachelbel’s Hexachordum on clavichord. Launch is in June, but pre-sale gives fans the chance to reserve their copy.

The creator and visionary of Authentic Sound: Wim Winters

Looking at the story behind the musician Wim Winters, we can see how the passion and devotion to the organ, piano and clavichord has led to the formation of a strong brand such as Authentic Sound.

It all started on Christmas Eve of the year 1983, where Wim received an electrical organ from his parents as a Christmas gift. He was immediately sold and even fairly emotional about the present which ultimately became the start of a successful music career. In 1998 Wim graduated with Great Distinction at the Sweelinck conservatory in Amsterdam where he took classes from Jacques van Oortmerssen (organ) and Willem Brons (piano).


In the early stages of his career, Wim focused on playing the organ and 19th century Erard piano. All, until he was presented in 2008 at Joris Potvlieghes workshop with a beautiful new clavichord made after mid 18th century Saxon style: That initial impression was so impactful that he asked Joris immediately to make one for him. Playing his own "n°35" from mid 2009, the instrument shifted his musical focus completely. For the first time, he could connect directly two major music periods that often are disconnected: music from before and after 1750. His focus rapidly shifted along this new approach towards music from Bach to Beethoven.

In his words: "The clavichord is a unique 'platform', since the instrument, more than we would think today, was the prime keyboard instrument for all 'German' 18th century composers, ranging from (before) Bach, over his sons and students, to Haydn, Mozart and even young Beethoven."

His clavichord will later also inspire Wim to take a next step in his career by creating the brand Authentic Sound, as he explains:

 “The name ‘Authentic Sound’ was first chosen in 2012. I believed that the clavichord instrument, as important as this instrument was throughout the whole 18th century, could use some extra help in today’s concert and recording scene. The term ‘Sound’ reflects the sound of his clavichord. The word “Authentic” tied into its voice; which is authentic in every meaning of the word. And so, Authentic Sound it was.”

The brand Authentic Sound was founded and would later in 2014 led to the start of Wim Winters’ Authentic Sound YouTube channel. The channel was created to serve as a place where Wim shares his ongoing journey as a classical musician and passion for musicology research, mastering the technique, with the never fulfilled wish to come as closer as possible to the composer’s intention, as he often says that "10 seconds before the Beethoven started to write down his 5th symphony. What was he hearing inside of his mind?". The Authentic Sound YouTube channel today counts more than 13,000 subscribers, 600 videos and reaches an average of 130,000 people a month!

A new exciting project: Johann Pachelbel’s Hexachordum Apollinis on vinyl Authentic Sound's first major production will be available in June 2018. The label will release its first vinyl/CD recording of Johann Pachelbel’s (1653-1706) Hexachordum Apollinis on clavichord.

The Hexachordum Apollinis, composed by Pachelbel in 1699, literally means “The six strings of Apollo”. The bundle contains six Arias, the first five’s tonalities representing the first five notes of a hexachord (D to A). The Sixth Aria, the famous Aria Sebaldina, returns to the key of F, but in minor this time. The title of this aria is a reference to the Saint Sebaldus, patron of the Sebalduskirche. With his Hexachordum, Pachelbel demonstrated his unique skill of producing variations on the highest level. Not only for this reason this work should be a well-known milestone of keyboard music, also for its development in style, where Pachebel touches upon keys that were for that time unseen. As Wim Winters explains:

“It is unknown which type of keyboard Pachelbel had in mind for his Hexachordum. Most obviously, the variations were played on any keyboard that was available. To play all six of the arias on a clavichord however, one would need an unfretted one, if only for reason of flexibility of tuning. It is interesting to know, that the unfretted clavichord was developed exactly in the area and time where Pachelbel worked when writing this work. Seen the many expressive elements Pachelbel uses, the clavichord gives answer to many of those because of its capacity of playing softer and louder, and of influencing the tone in a way no other keyboard instrument is capable of.”

It’s all in the details: the love for analog recording and record design

The Hexachordum was recorded in November- January 2017/2018 in Wim Winters’ own living room, rebuilt from the old barn where his wife Anja Schouteden grew up in (and serving as a temporary studio before they build a new one). The large room has exceptional acoustics for recordings like these. The high ceilings, furniture, irregular walls, and extensive use of solid wood creates a unique sound environment for the two hyper-sensitive Neumann TML170r microphones.

For the recordings, Authentic Sound embraces the philosophy of less is more. Two Neumann’s feed a dual mono Presonus ADL600 tube amplifier. That signal goes directly into the tape recorder, according to Wim Winters, one of the greatest recording devices ever made: A Studer A80r. The machine was built in 1981 by the famous Swiss company and brought back to factory specifications per their request in 2016 by Andreas Kuhn of Studer Analog Audio Switzerland.

A rather unique element is the collaboration between Wim and Robert Margouleff. Robert, Grammy award winning sound engineer, most known for the productions he made at the beginning of Stevie Wonder's career, came in contact with Wim through his YouTube channel. In over 30 sessions, he gave his advice to adjust the Blumlein configuration to the best possible result. The sound of the clavichord as you'll hear it, is captured as naturally as possible, with a smooth touch of wood delivered by the room.

The key to the brand Authentic Sound is their passion for details and the care they have for every step in a project. This devotion can even be traced back to the design of the record label, a cooperation with Shelby Lewis, as Wim Winters
explains:

“This Pachelbel disc is the first production for Authentic Sound to be released with this new designed, fresh looking style. Shelby, Anja and I had dozens of calls over the course of several months, to get every detail exactly right.”

For more information, please visit the website of Authentic Sound, or follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you would like to request an interview with Wim Winters, or have more questions about Authentic Sound or the Pachelbel release, please do contact us via mail or by phone:
(315) – 383 - 2627
        

Editor’s notes:


About Wim Winters

Wim Winters (March 6, 1972), creator and visionary of the label Authentic Sound, started his career in music in 1983 Barely one year later, he participated to the former renowned International Organ competition in Boxtel, The Netherlands. Being only 13 years old, he received first prize, which eventually became an important milestone for his later professional career.

In 1990, he entered the class of Jacques van Oortmerssen (organ) and Willem Brons (Piano). In 1998 he graduated his education with Great Distinction. He won several prizes: Leiden (1994), Bruges (1997), MA Festival Maastricht ‘l’Europe et l’orgue’ (1998) and Alkmaar ‘Schnitger competition’ (1999).

After having devoted much of his time to the organ and the 19th century piano, today he focuses on the performance of music from Bach to Beethoven upon his 2009 Potvlieghe unfretted clavichord in the Saxon style. A copy of a 6 octave Fritz pianoforte (also created in the Potvlieghe workshop) will be added to the clavichord in 2018. Upon delivery, he will begin the work of recording all of Beethoven’s keyboard works.
About Authentic Sound

“Authentic Sound” was first chosen as a name in 2012. Wim Winters thought that the clavichord, as important as this instrument was throughout the whole 18th c., could use some extra help in today’s concert and recording scene. The term “Sound” reflects the sound of his clavichord. The word “Authentic” tied into its voice; which is authentic in every meaning of the word. And so, Authentic Sound it was. Authentic Sound will be used as a brand name by Wim Winters for future projects, as there will be a recording label, publication of scores, a recording studio, and other projects under development within the coming years.

In 2014, Wim Winters started his YouTube channel Authentic Sound, which currently counts more than 13,000 subscribers and a library of over 600 videos. The channel serves as a musical laboratory where Wim shares his ongoing journey as a classical musician and passion for musicological research, with the ultimate, but impossible wish to come as close as possible to the composer's intention. His mission: Sharing the immense beauty of the underserved clavichord and new, often thought-provocative perspectives of early keyboard music to inspire musicians and music lovers.

About Johann Pachelbel

Pachelbel is mostly known as a Southern German organist and composer of the now (in)famous Canon in D. In those 53 years, Pachelbel developed a career and fame that stretched far beyond the region in which he lived and worked.

Johann Pachelbel, born in Nuremberg, moved in 1673 to Vienne, the political and musical capital of the Habsburg empire, where he met and worked with famous composers such Kerll, Muffat and studied the predecessor Froberger. In 1677, Pachelbel moved to Eisenach (Austria) and quickly became friends with the Bach family (already prominent musical dynasty at that time). Pachelbel became godfather to Johann Juditha Bach, Sebastian's sister, and taught Johann Christoph Bach, Sebastian's elder brother.

Whereas Pachelbel, never directly was involved with Sebastian Bach, it is not hard to image that this Hexachordum (of which Buxtehude was one of the dedicatees!) was not put on the music-stand and studied closely by J.S. Bach. After a long life of traveling, Pachelbel finally returned to his hometown, Nuremberg, to succeed his childhood teacher Wecker as organist of the Sebalduskirche. In 1699, Pachelbel published what is generally considered his Magnum Opus for the keyboard, the Hexachordum Apollinis (“The six strings of Apollo”).

The collection itself contains six Arias, the first five’s tonalities representing the first five notes of a hexachord (D to A). The Sixth Aria, the famous Aria Sebaldina, returns to the key of F, but in minor this time. The title of this aria is a reference to the Saint Sebaldus, patron of the Sebalduskirche. All Arias are original compositions by Pachelbel rather than already well-known tunes, although some propose that the Sebaldina might be based off of a tune associated with the Sebalduskirche.