Secret Key Masters (2015)

Gees, von Tilzer, Ehlhart

Michael Gees, Frans Ehlhart, Marion von Tilzer

The Secret Key Masters represent a childhood memory or dream for me… There is this clear imprinted image in my mind, sitting behind the upright piano at our home as a 3 year old boy, touching the keys, trying out combinations of tones and pedals. The sun shines through the window on my hands and I am immersed by the wonderful sounds, colours and woody scents that radiate from this mighty instrument. It embraces me with its beautiful carved wings and ornaments in the woodwork around the ivory and ebony keys.
As young as I was, I for some reason strongly felt the possibilities, the potential and the meaning of it all, and I can remember this until this day vividly. The happiness I felt, without having the verbal and mental tools yet at such a young age to defi ne this joy, stayed with me for all the following years in my life. It probably determined my future and my destiny of becoming a music recording producer. Now, every day of my life, I am again immersed by wonderful sounds and my clear guidelines in making musical and auditive decisions always are these happy thoughts like I had back then.
Like Peter Pan I seem to be able to fl y, having these happy thoughts, and overcome the diffi culties of the daily struggle, for life in particular and for intense recording and production work. I have tried hard to master playing the piano, but somehow it never became my main goal in life, and I never managed it to the level needed to play my inner thoughts or even actual compositions. The feeling or vision of what I remembered always has been more abstract. When I met The Secret Key Masters, all on separate occasions, I was struck by a feeling of coming home and realized I had the perfect tool in hand to create this ultimate time travel and go back to this little boy behind the keyboard…
The style of playing and the choices of notes of these three composing performers, improvising and playing their own music, comes so close to my heart that I had to investigate initiating a project, bringing them together and see what would happen. After years of half-appointments and lingering intentions, my dream fi nally came true as I was sitting next to a grand Steinway, listening to their art. The Secret Key Masters playing for me… It felt like the sun was shining on me like in my dream. They played their heart out and gave me their musical paintings. I was in heaven, as I would imagine heaven to be.
It was the most happy musical moment in 50 years for me and I was spiritually flying and feeling ultimately relaxed and fulfi lled! From at least 8 hours of music I distilled these 14 tracks and a good 77 minutes of seamless playing where The Secret Key Masters merge into the most wonderful piano recital I can imagine. Time and space become one and there is just music with no stylistic boundary.

Thank you Michael Gees, Marion von Tilzer and Frans Ehlhart, for lifting my spirit. I will treasure these recordings for the rest of my life.

Bert van der Wolf
2014

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Michael Gees

Born 1956 in Limburg, Germany, Christoph Prégardien began his musical education as a choirboy. He then studied singing with Martin Gründler and Karlheinz Jarius in Frankfurt, Carla Castellani in Milan, Alois Treml in Stuttgart and attended Hartmut Höll’s lieder-class. 
Widely regarded as among the foremost lyric tenors, Christoph Prégardien frequently collaborates with conductors such as Barenboim, Chailly, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Luisi, Metzmacher, Nagano, Sawallisch and Thielemann. His repertory spans a wide range from the great Baroque, Classical and Romantic Oratorios to 20th century works by Britten, Killmayer, Rihm, Stravinsky. 
Recognized as an eminent recitalist, Christoph Prégardien is regularly welcomed at the major recital venues of Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Zurich, Vienna, Barcelona and Geneva, as well as during his concert tours throughout Italy, Japan and North America. Chance leads him back to the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, where he resumes his compositional studies and eventually graduates. He now develops first rate pianistic chops on his own, composes a number of works, gains international renown as lied accompanist of extraordinary proportions with Christoph Prégardien and also appears in concerts globally; in Paris, London, New York and Tokio. All the while, he nurses and feeds his preference for combining the performance of music of past masters with living inspiration, thereby creating remarkable performances with his instrument.

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Secret Key Masters (2015)

Gees, von Tilzer, Ehlhart

Michael Gees, Frans Ehlhart, Marion von Tilzer

Cables: Siltech Mono - crystal
Digital Converters: DCS
Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Mastering Equipment: Avalon Acoustic
Microphones: Sonodore
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording location: Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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CC72656: Secret Key Masters
03:53:27   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Extempore I
Gees
00:06:19   Select quality & channels above
2.
Counting the Stars
von Tilzer
00:02:51   Select quality & channels above
3.
Chicken Dance
Ehlhart
00:03:54   Select quality & channels above
4.
Apollo 14
von Tilzer
00:07:08   Select quality & channels above
5.
Extempore II
Gees
00:07:03   Select quality & channels above
6.
Floating Stream
Ehlhart
00:04:31   Select quality & channels above
7.
Ballade über die Enttäuschung
von Tilzer
00:05:48   Select quality & channels above
8.
Extempore III
Gees
00:04:41   Select quality & channels above
9.
In MeMirjam
Ehlhart
00:05:43   Select quality & channels above
10.
Little Story about Love
von Tilzer
00:07:43   Select quality & channels above
11.
Reshuffling Things
Ehlhart
00:06:08   Select quality & channels above
12.
Extempore IV
Gees
00:07:07   Select quality & channels above
13.
Autumn Morning
Ehlhart
00:03:04   Select quality & channels above
14.
Neighbour's Delight
von Tilzer
00:05:49   Select quality & channels above

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