Friday, November 6, 2009

Virtuosity vs. musicality

In The Times of London, Igor Toronyi-Lalic sounds out pianists Marc-André Hamelin, Stephen Hough, Leon Fleisher and Murray Perahia on the challenges of making real music of fiendishly difficult pieces.

"A lot of people since Artur Schnabel feel that you have to make a choice, that if you start to play virtuoso things no one will take you seriously when you play Mozart and Beethoven. It isn’t true. [Virtuosity] is about having a sense of fun. It is part of enjoying the instrument," Hough comments:

(Read to the very end, and you'll find a nice one-liner from the elderly Pablo Casals anticipating his wedding night.)