Saturday, March 8

Arcadi Volodos in "Diapason": "La virtuosite, c' est jouer pianissimo."

I came across this interview a little bit too late! It's from the June 2013 issue of "Diapason" -  the excellent French magazine on classical music. 

Arcadi Volodos speaks mostly about his last recording - Piano Works of Federico Mompou - (which I haven't heard yet) but he has an interesting insight on the issue of virtuosity. 
The journalist (Bertrand Boissard) asked him about his famous transcription on Mozart's Turkish March. Here is a translation from the French:

Were you happy with the fact that a pianist such as Ingolf Wunder plays your Turkish March in his last disc?

A.V. This was just a joke, I composed it when I was 18 years old. There are some interesting pianistic ideas in there but, from a musical point of view, it's nothing. We should forget it.

Maybe this was a misunderstanding from the very beginning. We were speaking of you as being a super virtuoso...

A.V. Playing pianissimo, this is virtuosity. There are millions of pianists who can play my Turkish March, it's very easy. But listen to Schumann's Kinderzenen, or his Forrest Scenes - now this is difficult. 

What makes a great pianist?

A.V. His personality - something which cannot come out on a disc - his hypnotic power on the audience. It is impossible to understand via a capture the effect produced by Rachmaninoff. The recording is just a "document", something dead. 

...Maybe this is the reason why Volodos does not issue many records, and most of them are live recordings. I must admit he has a point about the CD being something "dead" - especially nowadays, with the infinite recording capacities. 

Let's admit it! Glenn Gould was wrong! The concert hall is where music is really created... And it will never die...



Morille said...

Hello! I just stumbled across your beautiful version of Schumann's piano concerto with a string quartet - could you tell me where you found the score for this arrangement? Or did you arrange it by yourself?
Thank you very much for your answer!

christos makropoulos said...

Hi Morille, many thanks for your comment and your kind words.

Someone gave us the score, I think it's made by a musician in Italy.

I will look into it and come back...

Many thanks again,