Discussion in 'Pianists' started by PJF, May 20, 2008.
Great Spanish pianist, not to mention her Chopin and Beethoven was great too :wink:
Gregor Benko (founder of the International Piano Archives and friend of the Spanish pianist) has recently reported an incident he witnessed that I share with you.
"In November 1982 she played a recital in New York's Avery Fischer Hall - she was in a particularly virtuosic vein and managed to even overcome, or give the illusion of overcoming, the hall's poor acoustics. The audience was lifted up and she was particularly happy with her performance. In Fischer Hall the artist comes to the greenroom backstage off an elevator, and as she was playing her last encore I rushed to greet her at that elevator door. A few other insiders also were permitted - standing next to me waiting were a couple other friends, as well as Claudio Arrau, John Browining, and Vladimir Horowitz. The elevator doors opened, she came out beaming, and came to us to greet her friends - as she was talking with us (in French, Spanish and her adorable English) she looked up and saw Arrau and Browning and smiled even more broadly, beginning to talk animatredly with Arrau - then suddenly she saw Horowitz. Her whole demeanor changed in an instant, her faced looked as if she were about to be executed - she left off talking and dropped to her knees and kissed the hem of Horowitz's pants! It was an entirely spontaneous and sincere gesture, but it seemed to embarrass Horowitz. One of us had a camera but missed that great shot - the photo that was taken was just after she stood up. It was published in a few journals at the time. Horowitz, by the way, apparently was impressed with what he had heard, but it was a little hard to tell, since he was slurring his words and seemed to be over medicated. His outfit for the evening was also more
than a little bit "off," as one can see in the picture - he looked almost clownish."
Interesting story, Alfonso. I wonder if that photo is still around somewhere...
I think it is, but as Benko said, not particularly poignant.
Definitely in my top 10! Extremely passionate playing style!
You sure have been making the rounds of the piano sites...Piano World, then Piano Street, and now Piano Society. :lol:
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Today is her birthday. One of the few pianists I wish I would have been able to see perform in person.
Yes definitely. One of the absolute top pianists of all times. Happy to be a grand-grand-pupil
I stumbled upon this delightful clip featuring dear Alicia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNjJYxsP ... ure=relmfu
I sort of remember talking about us being pupils of famous pianists, is that what you mean? And that video is darling! I can't believe I had not seen it before!!
Yes that is what I meant. Time to get some Spanish music under the fingers again.
I find many nice video's by subscribing to interesting YT channels and following YT's suggestions which are always to the point.
Topic bump. I stumbled on this delightful photo of Sir Georg Solti and Alicia de Larrocha, two artists I hugely admire, looking as if they are thoroughly pissed off with each other I think this is priceless, and would love to know the story behind that photo. I guess it could be related to their recording of Mozart concertos, the only thing they recording they made together AFAIK. Photo by Suzie Maeder. Hope I don't violate some copyright by posting it here. Just could not resist sharing it.
I love it.
That's a great picture! Leaves one wondering about their separate and silent thoughts. Larrocha was a superb pianist, but probably few know that Solti was a highly capable pianist in his own right, having been a piano student of Dohnanyi. He was a highly successful opera repapiteur. But instead of using that experience to propel himself into the world of a touring artist, he instead used his operatic expertise to move into conducting. It might be that if he said something to Larrocha that made her a bit dour (from the looks of things), perhaps it's something she needed to hear. Solti would have known. There are many surprising stories like that. We all think of Prokofiev, for example, as a great composer and conductor. But he was also virtuoso pianist who could show almost any other pianist of his day how to play the piano.
Solti's statue as a pianist is well-known. He occasionally teamed up with the likes of Ashkenazy and Perahia. There are quite some conductors who are accomplished pianists, even apart from pianists-turned-conductor. Tilson Thomas, Pappano, and many more I can't think of right now.
I don't believe Solti would have interfered with Larrocha's playing. As if she needed that, and he was too professional for that. But I think he could be quite a fierce creature. Probably had a row with Alicia about some interpretative detail. I bet the ever-sweet Alicia could also show her teeth if needed. Neither of them were real Mozart specialists and perhaps wanted different things. Ah well, nice to speculate on something like this
Yes, another conductor/composer/pianist was Leonard Bernstein. He had studied piano with Vengerova, and was very able and accomplished. (He was also a Baldwin Artist.) I read an interview long ago when he mentioned that in his earlier years he thought a lot about which path he should best follow among the three main choices. As it turned out, of course, he was best known and remembered as a symphonic conductor, although occasionally he would conduct from the piano. You could tell that he enjoyed every moment of it. He did make time to compose some big works like "Age of Anxiety". For the piano he wrote what he called "anniversaries". These were very personal pieces. Some were elegies for departed friends while others were dedicated to living friends and could be humorous or witty. He also wrote the "contemporary piece" for one of the Van Cliburn Competitions.
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