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Although a few principal types can be distinguished from among the freely composed works for organ, the terminology is unable to establish impassable borders between the prelude, the toccata and the fantasy. In Bach's case, each represents, above all, a type of composition that allowed him to approach the limits of keyboard playing outside a strict formal framework.
Whether as organist or harpsichordist, LÉON BERBEN can be considered a master in his field. His extensive knowledge of music history and historical performance practice make him one of the leading figures within the younger generation of the early music world. His repertoire embraces keyboard music from 1550 to 1770, in particular German music, the Virginalists and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. He is the co-author of various articles in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. His interpretations are given special weight by intensive study of the sources, and constant research work, and his solo recordings on historic instruments have received great critical acclaim, winning several awards including the Diapason d'or, Monde de la Musique's "Choc", as well as the German quaterly Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Léon Berben was born in 1970 in Heerlen, The Netherlands, and lives in Cologne. He gained his solo diploma in organ and harpsichord in Amsterdam and The Hague, studying with Rienk Jiskoot, Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman and Tini Mathot. He was the harpsichordist for Musica Antiqua Köln (Reinhard Goebel) from March, 2000, with whom he performed throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America, and recorded many CDs with Deutsche Grammophon / Archiv Produktion. Since the dissolution of the ensemble in 2006, he has pursued a solo career, appearing in several of the most prestigious international festivals.