Today, in the company of two adult students, I’ll be heading over to Zellerbach in Berkeley, California to hear Murray Perahia’s piano recital. Last year at about this time, he was curbed by injury, but apparently he’s now in peak condition and ready to go.
If his recent Berlin concert is an indication of what’s to come, then audience members are in for a particularly inspiring musical afternoon.
On the down side, however, I’ve not yet received answers to three questions I posed to Murray, that were kindly transmitted by an IMG Artists Agent.
They read as follows:
1) You are often referred to as the leading poet of the piano among your generation of performing artists.
And as I watched your televised interview in the 80s with Dennis Forman, I couldn’t help but understand the alliance of the opera to piano playing. (and the “singing pulse”) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eVjkxqCCro
Considering your deep intellectual and musical understanding of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic era repertoire, what is the role of spontaneity and inspiration at the moment of performance?
2) I noted your approach to the Chopin “Berceuse” in a video that was in German. It was noteworthy that you fleshed out the ostinato bass separately in your practice. This was a refreshing look at your study process.
When you approach a completely NEW composition, do you parcel out voices, in this way, or is your initial “read” at such an expected, deep and polished level, that you can shorten or quicken your learning?
(I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Sviatoslav Richter when asked
how he approached a challenging new composition of virtuoso proportion:
His reply– “I read a new piece and then start practicing the place
that irritates me the most. After learning that one I move to the next
3) Finally, what is the value, or perhaps the detriment of studying with one teacher in the course of 10 or 15 years, as it applies to developing one’s artistic individuality? Do have advice for others in this regard?
On Monday, the day after Murray’s concert, Mark Schecter, Registered Piano Technician (RPT) will “regulate” my newest piano, a Baldwin Hamilton 1929 grand.
He just so happens to be in charge of the Zellerbach piano, so he will tune for Murray tomorrow. That’s about the closest I’ll get to my classmate at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, unless I brave the crowds to greet him post-recital.
Mark Schecter, in any case, will enjoy greater than 15 minutes of fame, as I turn my video camera on him during intervals of his work day. He’ll explain how he’s regulating my piano, and perhaps he’ll share secrets about cleaning “real” ivory keys.
So that’s what’s in store for blog readers after I return to Fresno on Tuesday afternoon.
Murray Perahia, Pianist, is in a League of His Own
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I meet my blind date grand piano