This page contains reviews of my scholarly and musical activities. Newest appears first on the page. Last updated November 22, 2021.


Reviews of the CD “François Couperin: Harpsichord works/Werke für Cembalo, TYXart TXA20153

“This is a stupendously good recording of a notoriously troublesome instrument to realistically and authentically capture and project. […] These rather informal pieces must have appealed to a broader range of aspiring musicians. Not to say that they don’t impose their own level of musical integrity, but their more alluring and highly ornamented style makes for a less severe learning, and listening experience. And here it’s the combined artistry of Tilman Skowroneck and the rich sound of this particular harpsichord that may well revive interest in this archaic, but irreplaceable instrument here in our digital age.”

Jean-Yves Duperron, November 2021 at

“‘Couperin’s musical world is often quirky and full of mysterious images. In spite of the structural predictability of their Baroque forms, the sound world these pieces evoke, the pictures they present and the characterizations they suggest are often entirely unexpected and remain captivating. This music is  able to show off a good harpsichord at its absolute best, and it has been a delight to select and record the music for this CD.’ With these words describes Tilman Skowroneck this CD, and […] takes thus, in a manner of speaking, the pen out of the hand of the reviewer – I would not have been able to honor this excellent recording i, a better way.”

Detmar Huchting November 06, 2021 at

“Tilman Skowroneck […] penetrates to the core of this idiom with great consistency. His technique is flawless, and he depicts Couperin’s subtly colored images in a performance that ranges from majestic to almost fragile, depending upon the subject. In his hands, these character pieces take on an almost irresistible charm, and the ornaments he adds to the transparent filigree of notes are exquisite. One could not ask for more.”

Jan de Kruiff at 30 Sep. 2021


Reviews of the CD J.S. Bach, 6th English Suite BWV 811; 3 pieces in E-flat major BWV 998; Partita g-minor (version Leonhardt) after Partita d-minor BWV 1004, TYXart TXA19133

“…anyone who has listened to just one of his recordings will remember his name. Every sound in Bach’s English Suite in D minor is alive, organic in its larger-scale context.”

Katalin Fittler at, July 3, 2020

“Rhythmic precision and subtle agogic are among the characteristics of his playing. The partita is the most interesting piece on this CD and is given an incisive performance. Lovers of Bach’s harpsichord works should not hesitate to add this CD to their collection.”

Johan van Veen at, posted May 29, 2021. Also in German in Toccata – Alte Musik Aktuell, May 2021.

“His playing is consistently full of power and expression. To experience his interpretation, one only has to listen to the final Gigue from the sixth English Suite in D-minor: here dominates an expressive furor, passion and a fierce drive […]; Skowroneck here enters into a fierce keyboard-frenzy full of spark-emitting trills and almost angry chords, both ecstatic and intoxicating. This is no daintily skipping dance any more, this is Dionysian inebriety.”

Rainer W. Janka, Klassik-Heute, May 05, 2020

(To be sure, some of the “Dyonysian” aspect of that particular Gigue was written into the music by Bach himself, and it may well be that this particular reviewer wasn’t really used to this quite extreme piece. To be able to play those trills with any degree of precision, one needs in fact to be quite sober. The sound sample, for anyone who is interested, can be found here. T.S., November 22, 2021)


Reviews of the CD Froberger – Couperin – Rameau,” TYXart TXA15065 | GTIN (EAN): 4250702800651 | LC28001

“If Tilman Skowroneck’s reading is the result of a search that, starting in musicology, is transformed into pure emotion through his interpretation (the seventy minutes seem to evaporate due to the immense density of this music), we should also say that the recording made by Herwin Troje is of the highest level, capable of enhancing the wonderful interpretation of the German harpsichordist. The dynamic level reproduces both the power of the instrument and its sweetness, while the recording stages the harpsichord at medium distance, leading to great tonal balance and a maximum of detail.”

Andrea Bedetti,, last week of November 2018.

“This instrument is rich and full-bodied in sound, with a good compromise between clarity and resonance, which means that it works very well for all three composers here. Recording quality is excellent, closely-miked but retaining plenty of resonance… Skowroneck’s playing is stylistic in all three composers, with a particularly strong sense of line driving the music forward. At the same time, the differences between the three are clearly presented. This recording is a pleasure to listen to and I enjoyed it very much.”

Noel O’Regan, Early Music Review, October 2, 2018

“…Analytical clarity is joined with artistic pleasure, profound understanding meets the storyteller’s art, and Skowroneck’s playing achieves, by means of his pointedly measured tempi, a striking transparency, without ever becoming mannered. All in all Skowroneck’s magic is that of a color-indulging landscape painter. The sound of the instrument, perfectly balanced between a warm-yet-clear bass and a brilliantly shining treble makes this little listening sensation perfect.”

Recklinghäuser Zeitung, September 3, 2018, p. 9.

“Skowroneck lends a particular expression to every single piece…with relaxed calmness, yet observing the overarching coherence, or with virtuosic brilliance, depending on the character [of the piece]. Thus the CD remains exciting until the last note.”

DIE TONKUNST, July 2017, 12/3 (2018), p. 332, signature AJ.

“Let me just say that rarely have I heard such a striking and delightful sound from a harpsichord… the strings seem endowed with a more “resonant” sound than most harpsichords I’ve heard in the past, and does not seem to decay as quickly as most. The low strings have a deep, husky quality to them, with a clear mid range, and a singing, rather than glassy quality to the upper strings … The pieces on this CD include … perfect examples of typical keyboard music from the 17th century, all played with insight and strong Baroque flair and elegance. The audio quality of this recording is superb, giving the impression that you yourself are sitting on the bench at the keyboard, and interacting with the mechanical action of the instrument. I would strongly recommend this CD to all harpsichord and Baroque enthusiasts, and especially those of you who have been turned away by “plinky” instruments.”

Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel, July 2018,

“The recordings we used for comparison contain much of the best that can be found in the discography of this repertoire. Yet, on his musical journey, Tilman Skowroneck offers a remarkably homogenous example of virtuosity and affinity with the musical idiom of each of the three masters. The dignity of Froberger’s Lamento or the Chaconne at the end of Louis Couperin’s suite, as well as Rameau’s sparkling brilliance: one senses the lines of development, the thread never breaks, and the enjoyment of this marvelous music does not end, piece after piece. Praise also for the crystal clear sound of the recording…For every lover of Baroque harpsichord an absolute Must!”

(CD of the week, 10 out of 10 points in all categories) Detmar Huchting, Klassik-Heute, June 13, 2018,

“Of course it is the task of the harpsichordist to let the nobility of the instrument shine. Here, we want to hear not just an expert player, but also a true performer…Tilman Skowroneck is both such an expert player and a true performer. The one-manual instrument after 18th-century models sounds fantastic. Just listen.”

Aart van der Wal, Opus Klassiek, June 2018,


Review of Beethoven the Pianist (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

“[a] splendid Beethoven study. Skowroneck is one of the few people in music studies today who is equally adept in scholarship, performance, and the literal nuts-and-bolts of instrument design and restoration. His book thus plies energetically between musical technologies and musical techniques, including careful and knowledgable accounts of pianos known to Beethoven, clear-eyed assessments of the surviving evidence about Beethoven’s performance style, and a number of wise arguments about what the musical and musicological stakes should be in any such enquiry.”

Nicholas Mathew in The Galpin Society Journal LXXI (2018), 262–5.


A review of the CD J.Ph. Rameau, Harpsichord solo suites e-minor, d-minor and a-minor. Emergo EC 3921-2. 2001 (available for instance here).

“Diese CD von Tilman Skowroneck, 2001 erschienen, ist das Erfreulichste, was mir seit Jahren an Rameau-Aufnahmen in den Player gekommen ist […] 

Das Cembalo hat, ich habe es nicht anders erwartet, sein Vater Martin Skowroneck 1981 nach französischen Vorbildern fertiggestellt – eines der besonderen Merkmale ist die Bekielung mit Plectra aus Möwenfedern – wie Richard Egarr ist Tilman Skowroneck der Auffassung, dass dieses Naturmaterial “ein (etwas) größeres dynamisches Ausgangsniveau, eine größere dynamische Bandbreite, geringere Schärfe beim Anreißen und ein völlig andersartiges Arikulationsgeräusch beim Loslassen der Taste” erzeugt – bei dieser Aufnahme kann ich das alles auch hörend nachvollziehen. Das Instrument erklingt natürlich im tieferen französischen Kammerton, hier a = ca. 404 Hz, und eher mitteltönig gestimmt – eine von Rameau selbst vorgeschlagene Kompromißstimmung klang in E-Dur, der Tonart einer der hier eingespielten Suiten, nicht gut. So genaue Angaben würde man sich auf jeder Cembalo-CD wünschen! Das klangliche Ergebnis ist leicht dunkel, vor allem ist der Bassbereich klanglich deutlich abgesetzt und fast ein wenig an italienische Instrumente angenähert. Der etwas weichere Anriß erzeugt einen sehr angenehmen, attraktiven Grundklang, der Wechsel zwischen den verschiedenen Kombinationen der drei 8′, 8′ und 4′ Register gut hörbar macht.
Skowroneck äussert sich sehr interessant zu Rameaus Stellung zwischen Couperin le Grand und moderneren Strömungen, fragt nach dem Grad an inégalité, der für seine Musik angemessen ist, seiner Pädagogik, die im Anhang des 2. Buchs von 1724 dokumentiert ist … alles sehr lesenswert. Sein Spiel reflektiert diesen sorgsamen Umgang mit der Musik, hat bei ihm eine ruhige Grundströmung, die das spieltechnisch Schwierige, das Rameau unter anderem so faszinierte, vergessen lässt, obwohl er, wie er in seinem Text betont, die etwas komplexe Stellung dieser Stücke zwichen Virtuosität und anderen Aspekten der Musik schön ausbalanciert. Eine sehr empfehlenswerte Einspielung, die mehr Aufmerksamkeit verdient hat.”

Written on 1. October 2011 by the site administrator of Prospero – Forum für alte Musik at


“They gave a dazzling concert, both together and in solo performances. They began with an elegant specimen of Versailles Baroque in a suite by Hotteterre, a few years older than Bach. Bania played an exquisite solo sonata by Carl Philip Emanuel Bach that united French esprit with the elder Bach’s stringency and depth–a performance worthy of a great occasion. Skowroneck’s performance of three movements from J.S. Bach’s Partita [in A minor] was equally superb, culminating in a fluttering, butterfly-like Gigue that left nothing to be desired in either color or form.”

Rolf Haglund in Borås Tidning, 19 January 2009, about a concert together with Maria Bania, baroque flute


From Barry Cooper’s review of my doctoral thesis Beethoven the Pianist: Biographical, organological and performance/practical aspects of his years as a public performer:

“In general, however, Skowroneck’s work is very impressive in the amount of material assembled on each topic, and the sophistication with which it is handled. The book is essential reading for anyone who wants the latest research on Beethoven’s piano playing, plus a comprehensive collection of all the significant documentation relating to this subject. There should be a copy in every major library and on the bookshelves of all pianists who wish to play Beethoven’s music in the way he envisaged.”

Barry Cooper in Svenska Tidskrift för Musikforskning X, 2007.

“The concert ended with Pieces in D by Rameau. Here, the performer really seemed at ease … one gets the feeling that Skowroneck has been playing these pieces for a long time. His ornaments were particularly exquisite in the tender pieces, where a languid approach in every aspect of the music lulled us into a swaying trance. His timing in Entretien des Muses was particularly lovely, and his hesitations/staggering sounded natural and accentuated the instrument’s nacent resonance … Overall, an extremely satisfying concert, and a perfect way to end the meeting’s first day.”

Jonathan Rhodes Lee, 19 May 2003 on the hpschd-l. (See the whole review here; Heading: Performances).


“[in the Triple Concerto], Tilman Skowroneck joined [the ensemble] as an articulate harpsichord soloist and, as a whole, a finely chiselled interpretation was presented which also was the conclusion of an excellent concert.”

Sven Andersson in Hallands Nyheter, 25 March 2003, about a concert with Corona Artis and Gottfried von der Goltz.


“I thought I had an outstanding recording on modern instruments (Kocsis, Csaba), but nevertheless, it was like hearing three works unknown to me with a completely new spectrum of experiences. I will probably never again have any use for those steely and highly efficient interpretations, now that I have had the privilege of hearing the crawling venomous chromatics in the slow movements in contrast to the breakneck gestures of the speedy fugato movements. … The two musicians will play through a series of large European cities before they proceed to their planned recording, but with such high ambitions the result ought to be exceptional.”

Rolf Haglund in Borås Tidning, 12 August 2002 (Bach violin sonatas 6, 5, 4, with Antoinette Lohmann).


“Skowroneck’s playing has grand style and takes all the space necessary to let Rameaus’ energetic virtuosity come to rest again. The harpsichord is tuned in meantone, at the low French chamber pitch a=404 Hz and it is voiced in gull feathers. Skowroneck chooses optimal conditions that in turn inspire him in such a way that now an addictive CD is waiting in the shops, crying to be bought.”

Marijke Schouten in Tijdschrift oude muziek, August 2001 about the CD with Rameau suites.


“…Tilman Skowroneck showed in the course of the evening what it means to combine historical performance practice with a solid technique…The historical fortepiano may not produce the great tone of a modern piano, but it has enchanting nuances such as I have never heard on a modern piano. Especially in the Beethoven’s D-major sonata No. 7, I thought: yes, this is how it must sound.”

Wolfgang Westphal, 15 may 1998 in a newspaper from Rinteln/Germany.


“…I personally favoured the concluding piece of the ensemble, the harpsichord concerto in D, partly for reasons of my earlier special feelings for this piece, which the soloist of the evening renewed by playing with outstanding technique and sensitivity.”

Erik Blomberg, May 1997, in a newspaper from Kinna/Sweden.


“…the piano concerto [Mozart Kv 414] was performed extraordinarily well on the fortepiano by the pianist Tilman Skowroneck.”

Håkan Elwér 15 June 1996, in a newspaper from Skövde (a combined concert with Corona Artis, Scheinkvartetten and Jaap Schröder).


“The encounter with Tilman Skowroneck is a pleasant surprise. His playing is stylistically very well worked out and yet not schoolmasterly. He has a natural rubato on the downbeats … As a whole, his playing is beautifully finished and displays a natural musicality.”

Christo Lelie in Trouw, 3 February 1994 about the CD Three Harpsichords, Seven Composers (See the whole review in Dutch here).


“… a harpsichord solo evening of a most exclusive and exquisite kind … all the way through, Skowroneck gave an impressive performance. With knowledge and finesse he explored the limits of this varied programme. He is incredibly bold but he also has the capacity to see his ambitions all the way through…”

Rolf Haglund in Borås tidning, 10 December 1993.



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