<< -- 3 -- Bill Newman A GREAT SCHOOLING
'Performing with others is an essential part of the artist's repertoire.
'Yes, I was lucky enough to play with Casals. My wife Natalia Zertsalova,
Casals and I played trios together -- a great schooling for me, and
an unforgettable event. Playing with Menuhin was also an honour and happiness.
I was lucky to appear with great conductors like Klemperer, Karajan, Reiner,
Solti, Giulini, and so on -- until now, I am happy to learn from each of
my great colleagues.'
How about other artists on the circuit? 'I've known Gidon Kremer for
years, and Raphael Oleg I've admired since he won the Moscow Competition.
He and I are now jury members. I am always busy playing and teaching. Now,
in general it is the very talented Chinese, Japanese and Korean players,
like the Korean-born Canadian Julietta Krank who won the Indianapolis Competition.
There are many!'
'I established a festival in Estonia, dedicated to my father's name,
and one with my name on in Iserion in Germany. But I am not arranging them
'Instead, I do several concerts in Austria at Krems near Vienna, where
I play many programmes. Then there is chamber music with colleagues, and
with my family -- my wife and son. We recorded the Brahms Piano Quintet in
F minor with the wonderful cellist Michael Notas from München, and
several Trios like Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Notas feels Russian music
in a wonderful way.'
Real performing skills have never ceased to amaze and impress me, but
do instrumentalists outside Russia generally have the right feelings for
the interpretation of Russian music? 'No, not always. My father was never
in that position, because then he would say the English cannot play French
music, and vice versa! The great talents are above the borders between countries
-- they feel the style and national specification of another country's music.'
'I'm always trying -- I don't know how much I succeed -- when
I play Beethoven and Brahms in Germany, or Ravel and Saint-Saëns in
France. I hope they are accepted. When I played the Elgar Concerto in London
it went well, because I really love this music. Of course, with a first
performance it is another story -- there is no tradition. On the other
hand, where music possesses tradition, it is very difficult to avoid it.
There are recordings of the Elgar with the fifteen-year-old Menuhin, Heifetz
and Sammons that are all fantastic, but they're completely different! You
know, my father played Elgar's Concerto only once in a 1946 cycle of five
programmes which included Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
And during the few months that summer he learnt the Elgar, Sibelius and
Walton concerti. The performances were all marvellous, and he had a letter
from Walton praising his interpretation!'
Copyright © 9 February 2003
Bill Newman, Edgware, UK