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Pianos and Pianists - Consultant Editor Ates Orga

The Pianist Speaks:

Murray Perahia

'Greatness in music? That's an important question. Music has to appeal at many different levels - intellectually, emotionally, metaphysically, spiritually. Every note has to have a reason for being. A masterpiece must be inevitable. Think of something gigantic like the Goldberg Variations. You can't remove, you can't add a note, without destroying the beauty of its texture, the balance, the expression of its harmonic foundation. Great music is total music. Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann, even to some extent Chopin, all wrote total music. Total music functions at many levels, it expresses many dimensions of temperament. Temperament is important. What, for instance, distinguishes the eight-year-old Mozart from Johann Christian Bach, twenty years his senior? The incredible energy, the rhythmic energy, the vitality, the bustle, the life of his temperament. The young Mozart's inspiration, his temperamental fire, is so strong, it’s superhuman. Greatness in music? My teacher, [Mieczyslaw] Horsowski, a man of very few words, used to say that great music was music of lyricism and taste, of temperament.'

- from an interview © Ates Orga 1982, International Music Guide 1983


Hear Murray Perahia play and direct Mozart’s

Piano Concertos Nos 21 in C and 27 in B flat

with the

Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields

at the Royal Festival Hall, London

Monday 22 March, 7.30 pm