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Monteiro's own responses show how stimulating his involvement has progressed: 'The opening movement is the most problematic due to the various mood swings and changes of state. The middle movement is often thought to be most ordinary because little appears to happen and the music tends to peter out without very much happening. To counteract this it is important to heighten counter phrases by emphasizing the rhythmic structures allied to the harmonic thread and overall beauty of melodic content. The Finale, rather than sounding fiendishly difficult is instead the easiest to play due to the regularity of the writing.'

The two Liszt performances reminded me of Arrau and Brendel in their 1960-70s periods, despite the former artist's tendency to rubato.

Young conductors at concerto rehearsals can be unusually cooperative: 'I remember one urging his players to try very hard to match the delicate cantabile of my playing in the Grieg Concerto. It surprised and pleased me at the time as I didn't request it myself. Now I find that there is no longer the need to gradually play quieter during remaining rehearsal periods generally!' Monteiro, however, is quick to mention that where all musical parties are involved, everyone thinks and acts with the noblest and highest of feelings along with the very best of intentions. He has this insatiable instinct rather to perform everything he loves and reveres without too much concern for time factors, sticking firmly by his own ideas and visionary concepts in association with composer dictates.

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Copyright © 29 March 2008 Bill Newman, London UK


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