For the virtuoso, musical works are in fact nothing but tragic and moving materializations of his emotions: he is called upon to make them speak, weep, sing and sigh; to recreate them in accordance with his own consciousness. In this way he, like the composer, is a creator, for he must have within himself those passions that he wishes to bring so intensely to life. ~ Franz Liszt
You see, playing the piano is a combination of Brain, Heart and Means. And all three should be even. If one falls short of the others, the music suffers. Without Brains, you are a fiasco. Without Means, you are an amateur. Without Heart, you are a machine. It has its dangers, this occupation. ~Vladimir Horowitz
After we have completed our morning routine of Psalm, prayer, poetry, and catechism, we listen to music that can accompany our educational pursuits. Music with lyrics competes with the studies, so it is not part of our morning repertoire. My son leans towards Lord of the Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks and often pops one in the CD player. However, we both enjoy Bach, George Winston, Phil Coulter, Yo-Yo Ma, Celtic anything, etc. The Adagio series are also lovely soundtracks for study.
The Great Synthesis: After reading My Life with the Great Pianists by Franz Mohr, I began collecting music by some of the great pianists referenced in the book. Saturday, this peaceful, contemplative Horowitz CD arrived in the mail. As I type this I’m listening to Robert Schumann’s Träumerei, the piece that Noah Adams wrote about playing in his book Piano Lessons, a journal of his year of piano lessons begun at age 51. Horowitz plays to perfection Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata, a lovely adagio one of my piano students is beginning.
There you have it – music for both my vocation and avocation. Vita é bella!