<< -- 4 -- Gordon Rumson VLADISLAV KOVALSKY
There are many super virtuosos today, who, while able to play
with amazing speed and unerring accuracy, could use a good
dose of this understanding of sound. They play little black dots
of notes which must be crowded closer and closer together for
any meaning to occur. If they listened to the sound more completely,
their achievements would be even greater. And it should be noted
that Vladislav Kovalsky is a pianistic technician of a very high
order. This is to be expected given his background, but it is
not the end in itself.
There can be no doubt that one crucial element of the St Petersburg
tradition is that music is important. As Wilfrid Mellers said:
'Music matters.' Music matters to Vladislav Kovalsky.
Not music as competition, or even music as merely a profession,
or worse as a narcotic, but music as a necessary part of the human
being, part of a balanced whole. He says:
'I understand the word "competing", but it does not make
sense in Music. People bring these words from lower parts of
life. In music we have to use the word "contribution". That is
actually what we do: make a contribution. We try to carry on
the knowledge that was contributed by the generations before
us. There is only one way to keep it alive: to continue to contribute
as much as each of us can. We are all equal before the face of
the Music, it's equally grateful for any contribution from a
Beethoven, or a Horowitz -- or from us.
'Music is very generous. It reacts right away to even our smallest
effort to understand it, to search for new meaning, to defend
its principles. Then Music can give so much joy. It gives you
reasons for life, to enjoy your place in the world, to honour
Music. That is our "contribution". We always have to measure
our efforts by higher standards.'
Listen -- example 4 --
F Chopin: Polonaise Op 53 'Heroic'
(Recorded June 2002. Engineered by Gordon Rumson.
Used with permission. Recorded upon a 1902 Gerhard Heintzman Grand
Piano. Restored by and courtesy of Artur Gieck, Calgary Piano
Copyright © 25 March 2004
Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Canada
Vladislav Kovalsky plays Brahms' Piano Concerto No 2 with the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Roy Gussman, on Sunday 28 March 2004, 3pm at the Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, New Jersey, just outside of New York City, USA. Also on the programme, Brahms' Symphony No 2.