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AURA OF MYSTIQUE I was struck by the common theme that emerged from last month’s two comment pieces: ‘Medical notes’, about pianists who go public with their health issues, and Charivari’s thoughts on whether it is a good idea for performers to air their grievances on social media. As I see it, these conundrums both result from artists having to live their lives constantly in the public eye – a requirement of the internet age, which brings the biggest financial rewards to those with the most fans and followers.
In the past, artists enjoyed a much greater degree of privacy. Some, like the pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli or the conductor Calos Kleiber, made
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
a virtue of their inaccessibility, developing an aura of mystique that found its way into their arti str y. While we cannot hope to go back in time, I sincerely hope for some kind of backlash that restores a more balanced relationship between the public and private lives of artists. I, for one, have no interest in seeing a pianist’s pictures of their breakfast on social media, but would rather have them transport me to another realm through their playing. Mary Donoghue, via email
FORGOTTEN MASTERS I enjoyed the final instalment of Bryce Morrison’s series on National Styles (‘The art of understatement’, Issue 76, page 20), in which he focused on the distinctive qualities of British pianists. I’m surprised, however, that he failed to mention Barry Douglas and Peter Donohoe, two
British pianists who won the Tchaikovsky Competition! Joseph Laredo, via email
ERRATA Readers may have been startled by my description of Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata as having an ‘enchanting and tirelessly inventive toccata finale’ (‘Unreachable truth’, Issue 75, page 21). I was in fact referring to the Sonata in F major Op 54, which lies between the Waldstein and Appassionata Sonatas, those twin peaks of Beethoven’s middle period. A mischievous gremlin caused the error. Apologies for any confusion caused. Bryce Morrison The review of Miguel Baselga’s Albéniz recordings in Issue 75 (page 64) was written by Benjamin Ivry. Apologies to Benjamin for leaving out his byline, and thanks to our readers who spotted this error.
For musicians, artists, dreamers and for you, who love beauty and make your life into a true work of art.
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6 November 2021 International Piano www.international-piano.com