Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer’s 90th birthday
On July 20th (this date is often quoted incorrect) of this year MPS founder, master mind, sound engineer and producer Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer would have celebrated his 90th birthday. On this occasion we dedicate this article to him and his work. A big thanks goes out to his son Andreas Brunner-Schwer for doing an interview with us. The result is an exciting and personal report about the idea of MPS, the unique sound, the recording situation at the family's house and of course the person Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer as a label boss and father.
Cheers to you HGBS: Happy Birthday!
Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer was a lot: the offspring of a family of industrialists, entrepreneur, technophile, visionary, patron and music enthusiast. His son Andreas Brunner-Schwer found the time to sit down with us and to talk about MPS and his father. We discussed how his father had no interest on focusing on one particular genre but aimed to record music that just sounds right. About the need for musicians to try out different things in their creative process and how MPS made this possible. About the technical finesse he had and the great interest his father took in the recording process. About his vision regarding the worldwide availability of the music he recorded. And about how it was to grow up in a household where from time to time some of the greatest musicians gathered for very special living room concerts.
Selected recordings mentioned in the interview
We also want to present a few of the records that Andreas Brunner-Schwer has mentioned in our conversation. His father was a fan of organ pipes and so we picked Kurt Rapf's interpretation of Max Reger's organ works recorded between 1970 and 1984. Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer did not only record in Villingen, but he traveled through Europe, he recorded in the cathedrals of Speyer and Freiburg to the Riverside Church in New York. HGBS did not really favor one single musician, as his son puts it, but he as a pianist himself had a special bond with the black and white keys. So in this selection we singled out some of the records that have focus on piano, from George Shearing and Stéphane Grappelli’s “Reunion” to Milt Buckner and his Locked Hands to Oscar Peterson in company of The Singers Unlimited. Especially the last group really demanded a lot of technical finesse that Brunner-Schwer was well known for. The later then pointed out major releases for MPS where Oscar Peterson's “Exclusively For My Friends” series and Friedrich Gulda’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier”.
Keep on listening - best wishes the MPS crew