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Class of Prof. Carsten Eckert

source: Carsten Eckert

Carsten Eckert - Early Music


The profound education of young musicians is a particular concern of mine. For more than two decades a large number of students have successfully completed their university education in my classes at various conservatories and universities and have found a place in the wide-ranging professional world of the recorder. In training students to become independent performers I place particular emphasis on maintaining the balance between interpretive experimentation, expressive communication with the audience, the musicological urge to research and curiosity in studying sources, in short: the balance between intuition and ratio.

Developing the instrumental skills is an essential part of my weekly lessons. I place great emphasis on a comprehensive understanding of the instrument, as is common in training on other instruments. Without a profound understanding and discovery of the instrument, one quickly reaches the limits of expressivity in the stylistically so heterogeneous recorder repertoire. The training of the fundamental technical skills always serves to "open up" one's own astonishingly large expressive possibilities. It enables the development of an individual and personal language on the instrument towards an independent musician’s personality. This happens in "workshops" or "laboratories" both based on historical sources and the existing works, as well as on abstracted level, played by heart, without note fixation. It leads to developing and training our reflexes in a flexible way, not least to give us sovereignty in the interpretation on the podium. This process is enormously creative, since the exercises are individually designed for each student and their level, and not infrequently have an improvisational gesture.

The technical structure described goes hand in hand with the development of the repertoire. Here, the main emphasis lies on the repertoire of the 16th to 18th centuries. It is prepared in a theme-centered manner, such as in a "workshop for diminution and ricercare", a "workshop of "willkürliche" ornaments", in a "laboratory for transcription and arrangement" or in a semester focus on "composition versus improvisation", etc. The curiosity about unknown works of the huge repertoire of early music is as much at the center as the reappraisal of genuine recorder literature. Ultimately the occupation with the various ornamentation practices also makes one forget the worries about the apparently limited recorder repertoire. The results of the workshops are interlinked with performance-practical seminars and are repeatedly presented to the public in class lessons, recital evenings, concerts, etc.

In addition to the solo and chamber music literature, "Music for Consort" is another focus of my educational goals. The enormously rich repertoire deserves greater recognition in performance and, fur us, represents a "jewel" of the recorder literature. 

For a trial lesson or an appointment to observe, please feel free to contact me on: carsten.eckert27_