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MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
14. Jan 2012 at 10:16
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Gentili utenti,

a seguito delle richieste ricevute dai nostri lettori stranieri, abbiamo finalmente il piacere di proporre l'intervista alla grande Martha Argerich in inglese, grazie alla nostra pianoforummina Macri che ringraziamo di cuore!

  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #1 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:17
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Introduction

What we’re going to read isn't really an interview, because we hadn’t prepared any specific questions beforehand. More than anything else I’d say it’s a freewheeling chit-chat, with thoughts that were free to come and go as they pleased....Martha spoke to us in Italian and so I decided to report as accurately as possible what she said, without giving too much “structure” to her thoughts. What made this conversation so unique was the complete naturalness with which she talked about herself, and about everything, like between friends, with great openness. If I had changed anything it would have caused this sense of naturalness to disappear…which was something I wanted to avoid.
That’s why I didn’t write down the questions since they would have broken her train of thoughts.

I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Pepe
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #2 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:19
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Geneva, Monday, 1st February 2010

It's afternoon, we’re still in pyjamas because we just woke up... it's snowing outside

coffee

Shall we start? Ok, from what? I don't know...Scaramuzza? We talk about him a lot in the forum...when you were a child


I was 2 years and 8 months old, and in kindergarten...I still remember my first friend, Elenita de Nardo, Elena, the blonde one...I loved her so much...I was enchanted by her, she was so blonde while I was so dark...and there was a 5-year-old kid, Pedrito...he bothered me, I didn't like him too much, and there was another one I didn't like either, but I can't remember him now.
Pedrito always told me I couldn't do anything!... “You can't play! You can’t climb the ladder, you’re too little!” But I did everything he told me I couldn’t do.

Every day our teacher let us rest on the floor on some small mattresses, we were all together and she played songs like London Bridge (she starts singing the melody) and other ones...and Pedrito said “You can't play the piano!” So I stood up and went right over to the piano and played the melody with one finger. I wasn't 3 years old yet and my teacher was impressed because I played it without making a mistake! And so she called my parents and that’s how I began…

Ernestina Corma de Kussrow was my first piano teacher, she specialised in teaching children. She had a method without reading music. I was there with Anery Aste and Gladys Le Bas, three children giving concerts! Anery played a piece called Cu cu, that had an interesting legato line, and she played it well. On the contrary I did other things.
That lady told very simple stories. I remember one story where there was a little horse...and some other animals.
But my father told me much more interesting stories…so I was bored with those that were so simple ... and then I was very shy, a terrible thing, I couldn't even blow my nose because I was ashamed...I didn't talk much....

  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #3 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:20
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So my mother decided that I should take lessons from John Montes, who taught me how to read  notes…so when I was 5 I left Mrs de Kussrow and my mother (I wonder how she was so well informed) introduced me to Scaramuzza.
My mother also played, and sang as well.
In our flat there was a small upright piano, I didn't let my mother study...I always wanted to play it. I was 5 and a half when I went to Scaramuzza...
We were the only two children studying with Scaramuzza, the others studied with his daughter or sister. Only Gelber and I, both born in '41; he’s a Pisces, March 19th, while I was born 5th June...so only the two of us could study with him.
He didn't want to teach children. So, my mother came too, listened and wrote everything down...
I didn't talk, I didn't even say hello. So, he insisted that I learn to shake hands in a certain way if I wanted to continue with his lessons...I had to do at least something polite when I arrived.
He talked a lot.
The first time I played in a concert, one that he organised for his students, I performed “Sonata Facile” by Beethoven. He was happy, very happy ...so after I finished he came backstage and picked me up in his arms but I pushed him away, I didn't want to be hugged. When I was a child, I so afraid of adults, I didn't want that contact...and he was extremely offended.
He wanted to talk with my father. He told him he didn't want to give me any more lessons, that I took everything from him but never gave him anything, that I was “a stone”.
My father said: “Maestro, she’s only a child...” and he answered “No, she's 40!!! (she smiles).

Afterwards he started playing me off against Bruno, we were great friends, we always went to the theatre with his father, who played the viola in the Orchestra of the Colon Theatre; we were always together and very close…

So he told Bruno: “Martita is way ahead of you!”, but at the same time he told me: “Bruno is a hundred miles ahead of you!”. These are the kind of things he did… (she smiles)
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #4 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:20
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He addressed me using the formal “lei” form, he talked to me about anatomy, he made drawings...Nelson Goerner has an exercise book of Carmen Scalcione, who was one of Scaramuzza's students, she married Dante Amicarelli, a wonderful jazz pianist...his cousin Francisco was also my teacher, but later.

Don Ernesto Scalcione married Carmen's mother when Carmen was already born, he made her  study...Don  Ernesto also came to my house to make me study...and later on, when I was 7 or 8 years old, I went to Carmen, because I had to play concerts....and she taught me how to prepare for them.

Scaramuzza didn't suggest how to study, he talked a lot, and so it was Carmen who started teaching me really how to study. She had even taken lessons from Arrau...

Scaramuzza always said we had to study the technique in the pieces...he had a very strong character, there were some people who even came from far away to study with him and he called them “idiots”...He did such terrible things, and sometimes my mother cried. Once he told me: “When you are stupid don't come to my lessons....”.

So, in order not to cry, I looked at his wart (she laughs), I didn't want to be sad so I looked at that kind of wart on his face...just to defend myself. Do you understand? This kept me from crying and I never cried in front of him…
I never cried in front of anyone...I was full of anger...it mounted inside and I think I played so fast in order to work off my anger, do you understand?...I remember this quite well…it was a way of letting off steam...

I don't think I liked melodies very much...I'm sure, instead I was attracted by rhythms and polyphony...I had a great musical ear but it wasn't so important...I don’t think I understood singing very well, but I think he was impressed by my Largo of Beethoven’s op. 10 no. 3 because he didn’t say anything to me about it...

There was something natural…but I couldn’t say exactly what…
I didn't like it if he spoke about love...for example in Villa d’Este or Au Bord d'une source he said dear...dear...I didn't like that...
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #5 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:22
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Sometimes there was a lady and he courted her and talked and talked...and I was embarrassed....

Outside it's snowing harder, coffee....the phone is ringing...cigarette...

I was first attracted to Bach, Beethoven and Paganini.
The Preludes by Liszt...my father had a record of them, we also listened to some pieces for violin...I was really attracted to them.

I wasn’t too interested in romantic things...but there was something special about the violin…

Sometimes she looks at us and smiles or stares at a point as one usually does when trying to remember something... You were saying about Scaramuzza?

Yes, he was impressed by the Largo, but I didn’t find this out until I read it later in one of his notes. Our relationship was kind of... (she smiles).

He taught me the Studies by Chopin and I told him I could play op. 10 no. 4, but not the thirds of opera 25. And he told me “But who is the maestro here?” I had never played that Study...I knew I couldn't play it, even if he told me I could...I knew what I could do and what I couldn't...
In fact, I studied it but I never played it in public...
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #6 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:22
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Another time he asked me again who was the maestro between us. I was playing in a concert he conducted, probably Mozart in D minor, and I stopped. He asked me “why did you stop playing? And I answered: we aren't in unison. And so he asked me again: “But who is the maestro here?”

He was brilliant, a very interesting person, but I stayed with him only 5 or 6 years.

And what was the story about the trousers?

….sometimes he would say “this sound is empty like the trousers of that man who came into the room, his trousers are there but he isn't inside them!”
That was his way of talking about the empty sound: everything is technique, so even the sound itself is technique.

Then I remember how he explained things, in such an expressive way. For example he said the arm had to be in the form of a “c”….or like a “z” for the harpsichord… and that we had to play pressing hard with our fingertips. And with this mind he said something I really liked: that the hand was like an octopus and the fingers its tentacles. But the most interesting thing he told us was to consider our fingertips like a suction cup... that was interesting: to feel as if we were sucking through our fingers....(she makes a sucking sound)...I think this kind of explanation is marvellous....
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #7 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:23
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But there really is tactile pleasure in playing, isn't there?

Of course....this is interesting (she smiles).

Then I remember another thing. He imagined that the legato was like a line made using five pencils...and the five fingers were the five pencils drawing the same line...

Pencil, octopus...he had this particular way of explaining things; he used to give examples through images...About the weight...he told me that the feeling of playing had to be like the feeling of a raft in the water...

This way of explaining gave me the feeling that playing the piano isn't something rigid…it’s another way to feel the act of playing...

He said so many things, really a lot...he was a genius.

But we always studied the same things, we spent a lot of time on the same piece...and so when I went to Carmen everything was so different, every two weeks I had to prepare two Preludes and Fugues by Bach, or Studies by Chopin...and so I learned quickly and prepared a lot of different things.

I'd like to go back to that period…it would be nice to “feed” on something again; it was a time when I learned so much...
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #8 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:25
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We stop for while...
Do you know that in the forum we are taking the questionnaire that Debussy did; would you like to do it now?


I don't know, perhaps, I'm not inspired...I don't know...

What virtue do you prefer?
Goodness
What qualities do you prefer in a man?
Sensitivity, cleverness and a good mood
and in a woman?
Simplicity and generosity as well
What do you like to do?
Talk and sometimes go walking, watch films
What do you think is your most distinctive characteristic?
Impatience
What is your idea of happiness?
Happiness gives me the same feeling of when spring begins, a festival of nature, flower-buds...the air is a bit different, warmer...
And unhappiness?
A square black box, I'm inside of it and can't leave, when everything is closed...
Your favourite colour and flower?
Blue, the red or the tea-rose.
Where would you like to live?
On the seaside and close to people that care for.
If you weren't you, who would you like to be?
Fireworks, at this moment.
Your favourite writers and poets?
Dickens, Dostoevsky, Kundera and others...
Baudelaire in a specific period...I like so many of them...
Painters and musicians?
Magritte, Klimt, many works of the 20th century....Beethoven! It can’t be anything else, Schumann, Prokofiev, it depends...
Your favourite hero?
Jesus
What can’t you stand?
Cruelty, torture...the death penalty, I can't stand these things...
The cruelest person in history?
There are a lot, Hitler is the first one that comes to mind, Nerone...Stalin...
What mood are you in now?
Expecting something…
And your motto?
Live!
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #9 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:25
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She starts speaking again....

But my musical revolution was with Gulda, he was totally self-taught, did you know that?
He never talked to me about technical things, it wasn’t necessary...what mattered to him was the result.

There is a wonderful story, something that happened to him in Argentina. As you know there they were obsessed by technique...so he was in a meeting with musicians and all of them spoke about technique, technique here and technique there...
There was a boy who played for him (he was very young at that time) and so Gulda after the boy finished played asked him “Do you like what you played?” and the boy answered “Oh yes, very much indeed!” and he said “In that case it means you have a wonderful technique!!!”(she laughs with delight).
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #10 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:29
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I remember Gulda when he told me: “no...no...the crescendo you are doing…it arrives too soon, it's like a premature ejaculation...ah...but you can't understand because you are still too young (I was 13), anyway try to understand that you have to reach the last note!”
He realised that I was a young girl yet but in reality I understood anyway (she laughs).
Gulda was 11 years older than I...

And you were in love with him...

Yes, I was, but he didn't know anything.
We met again later, and he told me we were both in bad form at that time, so he thought we should stick together in order to help each other. But we had to be lovers too. I said no....but he insisted, saying: “you like to separate everything while for me, here (pointing to his head), here (pointing to his heart) and here (pointing to a precise point under his belt) these things have to go together!”
He was a Taurus...(she looks at a “Taurus” (*) sitting in front of her and smiles).
But nothing happened between us, it was impossible for me, and I said “no, I can't, because I was so in love with you when I was your student (I don't remember if I used the polite “lei” form) and he answered... “I thought you were still a child!!!” (she smiles). So much admiration...so many things...it was impossible to have a close relationship with him...do you understand?

He said to me: “I can help you for 70% and you can help me for the other 30%.
He liked how I played, he was very interested in it and at that time he thought he could help me again...Nothing happened, I left...I couldn’t stand this thing... I don't know how to put it...I had such a crazy admiration, I was so scared...do you understand? (she looks at me seeking confirmation)…He was too much...

I studied with him for a year and a half...he said to me “You have to stay no more than 2 or 3 years because you’re starting to play like me and that isn't good at all. You’re doing what I did with my teacher but he didn't play in public.”

He recorded our lessons, I didn't like to start, so I began talking about things that worried me, about the soul...these kinds of things...he listened to me and realized that I didn't want to begin because I was worried...he let me talk, and in the meanwhile he sat at the piano and began playing for thirty seconds. Then I continued where he left off...he knew that I was blocked.
I still have a problem with starting anything....
He used to record and later we listened to it together; with a pencil in my hand, I had to criticize what I had played...then he said to me: please do what you were thinking. Once I told him that I wanted to go home to study and think, but he answered: “No, you can do it now.... (she smiles).

Once I had to play a ballade in G minor and after listening to me he said: “It's horrible”. So he started playing and afterwards he added “mine is horrible too...”
Let's try to do something together, let's try to understand...He was honest, like all Tauruses (she laughs, looking again at the “Taurus” (*) in front of her), he always said what was on his mind...

Every so often she stops talking about her memories and remembers that she had to do something
I have to go buy some yoghurt and the store is going to close! It's 6 p.m.
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #11 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:30
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Once I worked a month on a Sonata by Schubert, one of those in A minor (she sings....) and he was worried about it.
“Argerich” he said to me “I thought you were gifted, but perhaps I made a mistake!”
And he added: “OK next week prepare Gaspard de la Nuit and Abegg variations”.
I didn't know Ravel was difficult and I learned it in five days! He did this because he realised I was blocked with that sonata and he gave me another thing to study... I had already been prepared for the worst with Scaramuzza...

Later you ran into that boy...Pedrito...again

I met the boy who told me I couldn't do anything, while I did the opposite.
He understood something at an unconsciousness level, it was incredible.
I liked playing for him, I looked at him and his face was transparent....

telephone...cigarette...
It's getting dark. She starts walking around and continues talking from another room, while getting dressed.


I had no idea know that I would have become a pianist...but I don't know how to do anything else, I didn't know how to anything else....
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #12 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:30
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Gulda was very special. One day I met him in Berlin, I wasn’t feeling very well, because of love. He realised that and said to me “Let me think for 5 minutes” and afterwards he told me “I'll tell you what I do. Start looking around, and I don’t mean go to bed with everyone, but look how that guy is walking, if that one has a nice smile, if that one is clever....look around and appreciate the good things in others...
…look around and appreciate the good things in others...
When you are feeling lovesick, you are blind to everything, it's terrible...
This is quite amusing....Don't you think? (she laughs).

But it's strange, I know that Gulda is dead, but for me he isn't, when I think of him I get all charged up, with life, talent...for me he isn't dead, it's strange!!!
It's strange...I don’t have this feeling with other people...

He wanted me to play jazz, and for a while I did, but later I forgot about it.
He was very angry about this, he met me when I was 40 and thought it was horrible that I hadn't continued playing jazz....and he was right. But perhaps now it's too late...I don’t even have time to go out and buy some yoghurt!
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #13 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:31
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The store has already closed by now, so no yoghurt.

Do you think it's too short for the forum? Do you want to go on? (she asks me...of course I'd like to, but I also think that she’s been here talking with us about herself all afternoon...but it's also true that she likes to....I don't know...I don't answer and I just look at her, but she understands that I'd like to go on)

In the meanwhile Akane (**) has arrived; we’re hungry and we decide to go out for dinner.
It has snowed a lot and it’s cold outside, but we still think we’re going on foot.

At home again. We sit in the same places.


Where did we leave off?

with Gulda...

He was born on 16th May...
I've never been enchanted by anybody as much as by Gulda. I’ve never met a person who’s so interesting and original, with such a natural uniqueness...and even his look was so different...
He was always flexible in different situations without cheating. As far as playing music is concerned, he wanted to be a photographer-musician...not a painter...He wanted to show accurately what was really there.
When you look at the text you can see that it's exactly the same!...and then he had such extraordinary resonance...
He had been enchanted by Cortot, which is interesting because he was so different from him.
He started playing Chopin thanks to Cortot, he got excited by listening to him...
They both looked beyond, that's what they shared...

Cortot’s recordings were extraordinary, but not him on a personal level. Yes, he was an extraordinary and consistent musician...
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #14 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:33
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It's interesting that Gulda was attracted by something so completely different from him; his friends didn't understand very well. He was extraordinary...

Once Ludwig Hoffman wanted to marry another pianist and Gulda said: “But how can you marry her...she doesn’t have any rhythm (she laughs).

Another time he held a concert in Vienna with a kind of face test (she laughs).

Face test?

Yes! The bad looking people who bought tickets had to be seated in the back of the hall...an assistant did that for him!
Then another time in Lausanne he introduced a program, Bach and Gulda (something like that) and the concert started with him improvising. Many people left and when he realized it he said: “and now that the idiots have left I'll play Bach...”

He was very poor when he was a child, during the war, when Austria was occupied, his father wasn't a Nazi and so couldn't work...he was cold, and he had a very light overcoat. He accompanied singers just to earn some money, he was young, 11 years old and so thin (Bruno Seidlhofer told me that). He went to him, to Seidlhofer and asked: “Maestro, will I become a great pianist?” And he answered yes. So Gulda asked him: “When?” (she laughs).

Another time there was a very beautiful 15-year-old girl, she was Jack Klein's girlfriend, she was Brazilian, an incredible beauty who was also a billionaire, and quite talented, and she didn’t play bad at all. She played for him, he looked at her and said: You’re so beautiful, and so rich, so why do you want to play the piano?

According to him (and not only him) when everything in life is going well, when you’re beautiful, happy and in love, you don't feel the need to do something in a special way. He believed that those whose suffer could find many special things...I don't know if he was right...

Once Gulda told me he was tired of playing anything but Mozart because “all others showed their
tummy ache” and for this reason he only wanted to play Mozart with his own tummy ache, his own compositions...(she laughs).

I don't know if it’s only by suffering that one can convey something.
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #15 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:33
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We argued a lot with Stephen Kovacevich and he used to say to me “Well, so we'll get a better fee! And I asked “Why?” and he answered “because we suffer a lot and we’ll play better!! (she laughs).
When everything is fine and everything is going without a hitch… I don't know...Perhaps it's true but, for example, Mendelssohn was well off, a child prodigy, and handsome...I don't know...

Even Stephen told me that you’ll know who your real friends are in the small things because in the important things we are all good, but not in the little things.

It's late...we’re all tired and what is being said no longer flows as it should  ...I write down some things and forget others...

I've never met such a talent like Gulda.

Another extraordinary person was Rostropovich, and even Bernstein was out of the ordinary, extraordinary...

Then of course there was Celibidache...
I remember one thing. Once during a dress rehearsal, in a concert of Schumann, we weren't in tune, and Stephen was there listening to us and he also told me that it seemed we were playing two different things...Celibidache said to me: “Don't be enslaved by your own confusion”...not bad is it? (she laughs).

Once someone who worked in the theatre, I can't remember...he set programs... told me: “You should embrace the wisdom of doubt”.

These two things struck me, but I don't know if I really learned something from them...I don't think so, but anyway they made an impression on me.

Lately I like playing the piano, there are times that I like it and others not...but I like studying pieces that I don’t have to perform in concerts! This is a problem because I play too much and then I can't study well in other places. In Brussels it's okay because I like studying at night and I can do it there.

I have been doing this for many years, why at night? Because I'm less bothered, people are sleeping and there is a different atmosphere...but I like starting before it gets dark.
It’s hard for me to begin studying but, when I do, I really get into it!

And now maybe because I'm old and there aren't many things to do... playing has become very interesting now (she laughs).
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #16 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:34
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There was a time when, if I didn’t have a love life, a sentimental life, I found it difficult to study, I felt depressed. On the contrary if I didn’t have to do many concerts it didn't bother me because I had a lot of friends and lots of things to do...but when there was too much work, it all became tiring.

She looks at us and asks: “do you think that as people get older they play in a cooler way?

As regards music I don't feel as if my way of playing has changed, but I don't know if people have noticed something different...I always speak with Nelson (Freire) about these changes, if there had been any or not...with Nelson there was a symbiosis for a certain time, there never was anything between us, but it was still a kind of love...now it's different, we don't see each other much...but he knows everything about me, he observes a lot, he knows me very well...once we told each other that when we play together it’s as if there were another person playing...and this is quite interesting.

This idea of playing together is really interesting, to see if there is mutual support. Sometimes we “infect” each other, while other times one of us helps the other when something is not going well. This can happen when we play together and listen to each other and it's something very special when it happens...

The audience? Yes, I can feel them when they are listening. Sometimes I see someone yawning. Even that happens. Did you know that? I feel kind of bad when that happens and it makes me think that maybe I was doing something boring (I often look at the public while I'm playing with the orchestra)... Obviously then I forget about it, but anything can happen when I'm playing...every place is different...every evening is different...it's never the same, there were concerts in the same place which can be totally different...sometimes I really liked someone’s live performance and then later, listening to the same recordings, I didn't like it anymore... even that happens! That means we don't always listen in the same way...

Do you think that there will always be concerts? (She asks me).

Celibidache, for example, didn't want to record...no, the same thing doesn't happen with a video...

Stephen Ashkenazy said that sometimes he fell asleep when a concert was good...(she laughs).
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #17 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:34
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Once I stopped playing, I was going through a major crisis, I had had my first daughter, I didn't have any guide...I remember I went to Brussels because my mother had entered me in a competition...I went to rehearse, and I realized I shouldn’t have gone...and in fact the competition was won by Sasha Mogilevsky's father...
At that time I thought that once I was a pianist, but that I wasn’t any longer.
I started thinking about what I could do, I knew languages, I could be a secretary. My mother introduced me to Stephen and Annie, they were in Brussels. They gave me so much strength and I began playing again and after a few months I won in Warsaw.

I participated in 3 competitions and won all of them: Busoni, Chopin of Warsaw and Geneva…

After the first time I went to Russia I wanted to go to Michelangeli to play. I was 19 years old.
I went there, there were other people, but we didn't study in order to prepare concerts, we didn't play in public, we went to stay with him and study.
He was a very great artist, but he treated us as if we were his family, there were about 12 of us, we were always waiting for him just to eat together, we played ping-pong...in Arezzo and Moncalieri...

I felt really good at that time...

I have some wonderful memories of that time, fantastic ones.
Once he told me that I ate too much, I was so thin even if I ate, but he said I would have ended up in hospital.
I also smoked a lot, so once he came up with an idea. He and I would give up smoking together and he did for two days!
Another time under a napkin I found a perfume that was different from the one I usually used and he said: “Your perfume doesn’t go good with mine”, so he gave me another one!
A strange thing of that period was that we couldn't go to his concerts; we had to go incognito...but I don't know why...
Once, in a place were there were two pianos, I began playing on one. The next day the pianos were locked...he didn't want us to play music together...that was very strange...

A very funny story, when I made my debut in New York, he was there too, and there was a man from the Steinway company who was talking to him about me. Michelangeli said: “I did a lot for this girl!” and that man answered: “but Maestro I know you gave her only 4 lessons!” and he answered: “but I taught her the music of silence!”
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #18 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:35
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At that time I was a great fan of Horowitz (even today) I had many of his LPs and I used to play them in my bedroom.
Once, a friend of mine, Alberto Neuman, told me that Michelangeli was walking under the staircase, he was walking around and listening to the music and saying: “ahhh, that Martha with her Horowitz!!!”
I don't know if he was jealous but it's curious, I don't know what he thought...He was so generous with money, we never paid for anything!
Maestro Sonzogno told me that once they had played together and Michelangeli had received an envelope with his fee. A man had stopped him in the street, saying that he was very poor and Michelangeli gave the envelope to him without saying a word!
Michelangeli didn't die rich at all, he had cancelled many concerts, he didn't want to make any recordings...

We were always waiting for him, and sometimes he got peeved about it...but we didn't pay for anything and so we couldn't demand anything. So we were waiting for him to call us and give us a lesson. At the end of this course we had to play three concerts, so he asked me and Premezzi. When I heard that I said: “Maestro, but you haven't listened to many of my pieces yet, I’d like to play with Premezzi”.  For me it made sense to play something he had listened to...and so he told me: “no, from now on I’ll give you a lesson every day”...so I agreed...but instead nothing happened!...so just to show how displeased I was I went on a hunger strike, walking in front of his room...but three or four days before my concert he left and so I played...
He came back after three days and said: “I heard that you played very well”. That’s all he said (she laughs).

While to the others he said: “I don't give any lessons to those who have to play because they'll play somehow, I give lessons to those who have to teach”...He said this once to someone...but not to me.

I have never taught, sometimes I can give my opinion, but I have never given any lessons...
  
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Re: MARTHA ARGERICH PER PIANOFORTE (ENGLISH)
Reply #19 - 14. Jan 2012 at 10:36
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Now she is talking again about concerts, if they are going to end because of videos...she asks Daniel and Akane...

Look at Glenn Gould, he liked technology very much, so he didn’t play any more in public. He didn't like travelling, many things bothered him, things that in his opinion didn't help music...He really kept to himself...he kept in contact with his friends only by phone...
He liked animals so much, and he left them a lot in his will...Did you know that?


It's late, but we feel like going on. So what she says gets mixed up with what her friends have to say. It's difficult for me to keep on writing but I decide to try anyway, probably they won’t flow very well but perhaps something good will come out of it anyway.

When I go to listen to a concert I always look at the others.
On the contrary it's a terrible thing when I'm on the stage and the public is looking at me.
The problem is that sometimes I can’t move my head and I don’t have enough room especially when the audience is behind or around me like in some halls...it's a problem...to be looked upon by so many eyes, lights, and I don’t know if it’s just a matter of nearsightedness, or insects...I don't know...
You are there, vulnerable...it's really strange, instinctively it scares me...We aren't prepared for this, just imagine you’re walking down the street and a lot of people are looking at you. How would you feel? It's not natural...

We know that people also come to look at you, but it's terrible...

There aren't many people who come just to listen to the music, like in Germany for example.
Sometimes they came with scores, they were prepared for that and asked why you played something certain way...before it was different...today that rarely happens...people didn’t travel like they do nowadays, so they stayed in their own town and enjoyed what the town offered them. There weren't so many records, and no videos at all...

Even making a record was a very special thing, today everyone can make one, but before it was really something special.

In a certain way, we are getting worse with modernity. Even people who didn’t have the chance to listen to the music had the transcriptions, that's why there are so many of them. They wanted to learn, to know music and at home they played it. Today with Internet everything has changed.

I’ve noted a lack of passion for some time now...
  
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