Edited transcripts of interviews (questions mostly left out) with 14 important concert pianists. The primary topics of...

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PIANISTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

Edited transcripts of interviews (questions mostly left out) with 14 important concert pianists. The primary topics of discussion: technique (most find it over-stressed these days, though Rudolf Serkin says ""If you really love music, I don't think you can overemphasize technique. . . your musicality will shine through""); competitions (most disapprove); teaching; memorization; repertoire; interpretation; and (apparently in response to an inane question put to all) what past times or personalities the pianists would like to visit. Much of this is drab and predictable, but some distinct voices do emerge. Defector Vladimir Ashkenazy musing on the restricted musical life in Russia (which ""creates good musical sportsmen rather than great artists""). Claudio Arrau suggesting that performers with blocks seek psychiatric help, as he did. Lili Kraus remembering WW II imprisonment in Jakarta and relating it to her love for Mozart. Rosalyn Tureck reliving her discovery of a new way to play Bach (with very precise analysis of what goes on, finger-wise). Vladimir Horowitz denying any ""phenomenal technique,"" stressing instead that the goal is ""to make the piano sing"" with a variety of sounds. And, abrasively eloquent as ever, Glenn Gould--who ""fell in love with microphones,"" hasn't played a live concert since 1964, seeks a life of ""Howard Hughesian secrecy,"" and finds intense parallels between Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Barbra Streisand. Of obvious interest to serious piano students and their mentors, but only spottily engaging for more general music lovers.

Pub Date: July 1, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1980