András Schiff: Music is born out of silence


Music has to do with Mind and Transcendence. A useful guide for music students and interpreters
A rare insight into the universal quality of classical music and a wonderful instruction for classical music education is given by the book of András Schiff Musik kommt aus der Stille /Gespräche mit Martin Meyer/Essays (Music comes out of silence- Conversations with Meyer/Essays – Bärenreiter/Henschel Verlag 2017).
The main part of the book is based on an interview which was conducted by Martin Meyer (former head of the Feuilleton of the Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung – NZZ) with the world famous pianist András Schiff. The other part of the book consists of essays that were written during the last decade by András Schiff – “one of the great musical minds of our times”(BBC) – in which the pianist gives his assessment of the quality of various classical composers as well as outlining his own musical education. The pianist reflects about the method of education which he personally received by various teachers and describes the process in which classical music can be made today transparent to the audience. The book offers a unique and original insight into what classical music is all about and a guideline for musical education. It gives a lively impression about one of the most outstanding pianists and an insight into his method of transmitting the essence of classical music.
Being asked by the NZZ journalist Meyer:“What is the essence of music,” Schiff’s replied: “In the beginning there was silence and music is born out of silence. What follows is a process, a miracle in form of sounds and structures…. After that again silence returns.” Music can’t be reduced to the material aspects, since “music essentially has to do with mind and with the spiritual.” Schiff stated that he considers music as something “divine which originates from the soul. This is what makes the difference between a human being and an animal. There is a fundamental difference between a song of a nightingale and the art of the fugue. The divine character of music is expressed by the fact that “if I study the music of Bach, Beethoven, especially the string quartets of Beethoven, I feel things which cannot just be explained rationally.” (p 8)
According to Schiff the father figure of Western music and its high point is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, was followed by the golden era during the Viennese Classics till the death of Schubert 1828. Other productive periods included the romantic and late romantic period as well as the music of the early 20th century. The Viennese Classic, as Schiff put it, is a “language” in form of the Sonata which is structured and based on an ‘exposition’, ‘development,’ and ‘recapitulation.” “If you add to this the tonic, dominant, subdominant and median, you know where you are.” This is important insofar as today in respect to modern music one “often feels like in a vacuum space.” (p 10) Schiff considers J.S. Bach a genius in terms of his reception of the Italian and French baroque music from Vivaldi, Corelli and Domenico Scarlatti to Lully, Rameau and Couperin. Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, who never reached the format of his father, was a bridge-builder from Bach to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Schiff refers in particular to Philip Emmanuel Bach’s booklet Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen (An Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments), the most important musical handbook of all times, according to Schiff.
Over the span of 40 years Schiff developed his repertoire. He emphasized that in order to make a classical musical piece transparent for the mind of the interpreter and later for the audience, it is indispensable that the interpreter makes a detailed study of the musical piece as well as the manuscripts of the composer, since “that way I understand more about compositional processes and the emotional situation of the composer.” According to Schiff, Bach who composed every second Sunday a cantata was deeply rooted in his religious faith. The composer reminds him the Florentine Renaissance or the medieval cathedrals, having been formative and influential for the Vienna Classics. The instrumental music, well- tempered piano, solo sonatas and partitas for violin, suites for cello and the Goldberg variations – they all contain parts which according to Schiff “could derive from passions or cantatas.”
Bach also plays a central role in the daily work of the pianist who – as he told in the interview-starts every day with Bach; most of the time he practices him for one hour. “I learned later that I could better train with Bach, it had a positive effect on the body, soul and mind.” Having reached the age of 60, Schiff tells the interviewer, that he would like to learn the “Art of the Fugue” and play it, probably with notes, since to do it by heart, he would probably be too old for that.
During his youth Schiff was very much influenced by the pianist Glenn Gould as well as by the pianist Edwin Fisher as well as by the famous Cellist Pablo Casals.
The ability of concentration and focus
As a young man Schiff had the capacity to “recollect and concentrate and to focus,” very similar to Beethoven. The same goes for his piano training. One does not have to train for hours, like for eight hours, he stated in the interview. As soon as he felt tired he would take a break. The pianist has a fantastic memory and memorizes while reading the score. He stated that when he plays a Schubert Sonata he doesn’t see the notes by way of a “photographic memory.” “All proceeds with the help of an acoustic memory, by way of hearing. One hears sounds, structures, harmonies and modulations- the whole travel plan. In Bach I particularly hear the single voices. His music is not simply linear. I hear three to six ‘texts’ altogether.” (p 23)

András Schiff 2016 im Leipziger Gewandhaus. Foto Alexander Böhm

This has direct implication for his training practice which Schiff described as “efficient” and “economic.” It’s a method which Schiff learned from his Hungarian teacher at the Franz Liszt Academy, Ferenc Rados. There should be no “waste of time,” but what counts is “concentration and intelligence,” not the “motoric” part, Schiff stated. One has to practice slowly; musical units and phrases must be shaped from the beginning correctly, followed by phrasing and articulation. If scales are practiced, the fingering is important, but this must be seen in respect to the sound. “The art of playing the piano playing has to do with the best distribution or balance of voices. In a six or eight voices chord, there are no two tones that are equal. This is difficult, but the highest priority is to listen polyphonically.” (p 24)
With respect to the study of chamber music written by classical composers, Schiff underlined that in Mozart the “dialoguing” moment which is flourishing in his works, is based on the principle of chamber music. He underlines that one can easily recognize whether a pianist who plays piano concertos is a chamber musician or not. A qualified pianist must be able to listen well to the others and to himself. He must have a strong sense of sound and find a piano sound that harmonizes with the sound of the string players and brass as well with the human voice.
Schiff prefers Beethoven to Mozart, since in his view Beethoven stirs up more existential things. “In his greatest works I feel like Bach, something ‘metaphysical and cosmic’,” Schiff told the interviewer. Particularly the “late Sonatas, the Diabelli- Variations, the Beethoven string- quartets and his Missa Solemnis – open up new dimensions.”
The interviewer Meyer remarked at one point that no other composer like Beethoven has created a “cycle” which reflects the whole creative biography of the composer and therefore there is the need to chronologically present them. Schiff replied that “through Beethoven my piano sound world was enriched, it became fuller and more differentiated. After I had played intensively Beethoven, I also changed the way in which I was playing Schubert. It became more cantilena, more focused and more concentrated. …What counts is the ‘voicing’.” (p 27)
In respect to his work on Schubert, Schiff emphasized that in Schubert the songs are present everywhere. Schiff worked with singers like Robert Holl, Peter Schreier and Dietrich Fischer Dieskau. “Schubert was very sensitive and had a beautiful and melodic voice,” he commented and added that during Schubert’s life there were excellent piano builders in Vienna; among them Conrad Graf or the brothers Franz and Joseph Brodmann who had impact on Bösendorfer.
Education and Musical types
The “string –quartet” represents for Schiff the most favourite music-type. At the age of eight, as he told the interviewer, he played music with children of his age. They usually played what was technically feasible, including trios from Haydn and Mozart. Schiff was a gifted young pianist and his first teacher emphasized chamber music as a central part for his musical education. According to Schiff string -quartets “lead us” into the sphere of metaphysics, as is also the case with the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas. “After Beethoven had concluded the composition of the piano sonatas with Op 111, he goes even further with his quartets till the last composition F-Major Quartet op 135.” The real continuation of the Beethoven quartets, one could find then in Schubert, Schumann or in Brahms, but even more in the string-quartets of Bartok.
A big impression in terms of quartet interpretation was left for Schiff by the Busch- Quartet as well as by the Sándor Végh Quartet. He was able to experience them very closely and found them masterful. He also made reference to the famous “Amadeus Quartet” with its genial leader, the legendary Norbert Brainin, which Schiff during the interview took as occasion to reflect more generally about the role of the “leader” in a quartet: “We talk a lot about democracy and equal rights, but a string- quartet without an excellent leader is not a string quartet. This is often the problem of today’s string ensembles. They lack outstanding personalities.” (p 38)
Being asked how one can tell that things function well in the musical ensemble, he replied: “In good partnerships one has to hardly talk. What is important is that you have to perform music in a ‘non- egoist way’. The piano player usually has the score and can evoke the sensibility for the voicing in the other players.” (p 39)
Schiff is further asked whether it is possible to develop the character of the interpreter. He referred in his answer to his master classes: 80 pupils want to come, but he can only take ten. Normally it is not possible to turn a mediocre pupil into a master, he states. The teacher is almost like a medical doctor. He is however convinced that today not as many artists, personalities and pianists exist like at the time of great pianists like Annie Fisher, Serkin, Arrau, Richter, Michelangelo Benedetto who were all extraordinary pianists. Schiff further emphasized that he often gives lecture concerts, in which he verbalizes the works before he conveys them to the audience.
Childhood and education
In order to fully grasp the extraordinary character of the pianist András Schiff, it’s worth to have a look at his childhood and the music education which he received during his childhood in Hungary.
Schiff was born on the 21st December 1953 in Budapest, as son of a Jewish bourgeois Family. His father, a successful gynaecologist, came from Gaborjan in North-eastern Hungary; the mother was born in Debrecen, the second biggest town in East Hungary. Being the youngest of three daughters, the whole family was deported, except her. The first husband of his mother died in a concentration camp. The second husband was his father, a medical doctor, who could survive the horrors of the Nazi occupation. But also his first wife and son had died in Auschwitz. Schiff was the only child, and his father died, when he was six. This background illustrates that the family of Schiff was deeply affected by the horrors perpetrated under the Horty /Hitler Regime, where 600.000 Jews were deported from Hungary. Today 100.000 Jews live in Budapest, Schiff told in the interview.
Schiff had a protected childhood. The family had a big house in Buda (part of the city Budapest), which is green and hilly, and the family was quite musical. His father sang a lot of folk songs while his mother was a good pianist; he remembered that during his childhood his father often played the violin and he recalled that on Sundays often the father’s friends- all of them medical doctors- convened to play music in private apartments. This kind of chamber music culture was according to Schiff typical for the city Budapest. Memories about his childhood were also that the family had a primitive radio which aired a lot of music.
An important element to survive during the time of communism after the Second World War in Hungary, as Schiff recalls, was the capacity to make jokes: “Hungarians survived by jokes. Already at the age of four or five I got a feeling for that. I loved jokes since the time that I can remember.” “At the age of five or six, I liked to laugh a lot, I was a cheerful nature!” (p 64).
The special Budapest music school system
A very fine insight in the necessity of a broad based generalised musical education and support to develop musicians is the lengthy description of the “Kodaly School” which Schiff gives in the interview. The first piano lessons which Schiff received at the age of five, in 1959, were from a woman teacher, Bözsi Neni, an excellent teacher, as Schiff recalls. Hundreds of teachers like Böszi Neni were at that time teaching children in Budapest which had an elaborate system of music schools. In each suburb there was a music school, it was basic level, not conservatory, nor high school, but for free. “I was too young for all that, so I went to aunt Bözsi” who lived far away in the centre of Pest, in a small apartment with a real grand piano.” First he learnt to read the notes. Then he learnt to read, after that followed the theory. Every child had to sing. He first played some easy Bach preludes, after that Bartók pieces. He learned to play Bartók’s “Microcosm”, but also Schumann’s “Album for the youth.” He had lessons till with aunt Böszi till 1967/69.
György Kurtág 2014

After that he was integrated into the system of music schools: “I was matriculated to the central musical high school and still visited her (Böszi), no more privately but at a school, where she taught.” Schiff described the system of such music schools as a wonderful network. At the end of the school year, children concerts were given. “We were chosen and delegated to perform in the big Franz Liszt Academy Hall.” “At the age of eight or nine, I could play there for the first time with an orchestra. I presented the D-major Concert Rondo KV 382 from Mozart. It aroused attention.”
At the age of 13 he knew, that he wanted to become a musician. “I still went to primary school when in 1968 in the Hungarian TV they called for a competition for young talents. This event which took place every third year was very appreciated in Hungary. I could participate in such an event when my school delegated me there. I won the competition, the only one where I was winner and became famous overnight. Everybody had watched it.”
As Schiff told the interviewer Martin Meyer, he didn’t visit the Conservatory but entered directly into the “Academy” where Professor Pál Kadósa was director of the piano department. After his first inaugural visit, Kadósa, “a lovely old man”- agreed to accept Schiff as pupil. In terms of the musical education and training which Schiff received then at the Academy, he particularly mentioned the classes of Professor Kadósa and his assistant György Kurtág, a composer and musician. He recalled that Kadósa always taught in a great way. The lesson lasted exactly one hour. He didn’t say much except “don’t play so sentimentally, when it was a Chopin piece; or be more precise, articulate or play more legato.” In the Beethoven Sonatas the transitions were important and he would say: “Please not so mechanical. Don’t be so aggressive. Play with expression and tenderness.” Parallel to this, he took lessons with Kurtág, followed in 1969 by lessons from Ferenc Rados.
In 1970, as Schiff recalled, “I made a big jump in the development. I practiced almost six hours a day and Rados was the best in piano technique which I could have. He understood technique in connection with musicality and tonal quality. Balancing accords, transparency and polyphony. I learned it slowly.”
Schiff remembers that his first public concert was given in 1970 or 1971 which he gave with a borrowed tail coat in the small hall of the Music Academy. “I played all two-part keyboard pieces ‘Inventions’ by Bach, Beethoven’s Bagatelles op 126 and Schubert’s A minor Sonata, a difficult piece. Schiff received a scholarship from the State Philharmonic. After this Schiff was obliged to give concerts throughout Hungary, approximately 20 a year. Some of those concerts were performed in Budapest, but most were performed in the province “with often very bad orchestras that worked under miserable conditions.” This way he could build up a repertoire before he began to perform abroad.
He at that time also visited master classes in Weimar (East Germany), participating in the summer courses with teachers such as Tatjana Nikolejewa and Bella Davidovich. In Moscow he had the occasion to participate in the Tchaikovsky competition, where he won the fourth price. The winner was Andrei Gawrilow. What impressed Schiff the most was the Moscow audience, which “was fantastic. It radiated a lot of warmth and enthusiasm.”
Schiff was particularly impressed by the experience he made with the audience in Eastern Europe. This is significant if one looks at the history of Eastern Europe. As Schiff commented: “In Eastern Europe which was despotic and where every day was grey, life, art and concerts functioned like an oasis, like a paradise. People didn’t go because they felt obliged to do this, but because they enjoyed it.”
At the age of 21 Schiff became Soloist at the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Having received many invitations to play abroad, in the summer 1979 he went to the “Festival Marlboro” (Vermont /USA) whose guiding spirit was Rudolf Serkin (pianist) and the Cellist Pablo Casals. “I went there in summer 1979. The meetings with Serkin and Horszowski (pianist), who at the time was 90 years old, were wonderful.” He often visited Horszowski. In the year 1979 he also got to know Yuuko Shiokawa – a celebrated violinist, who later became his wife. In 1979 Schiff decided to leave Hungary and first went to the US, New York Manhattan Upper West Side.
Aside his carrier as pianist, Schiff also created on his own Andrea Barca chamber orchestra which based on well selected players did not only play at the Salzburg Festival from 1999 till 2005, but performed also in other places such as the “Teatro Olimpico” in Vicenza- which Schiff conducts with great passion. As a devout teacher he is often giving master classes. The key for him is to transmit to pupils and young interpreters “what I have learned.”
Andras Schiff’s Essays: The pianist as re-creator of music and second composer
It is worthwhile to study some of the musicological essays in the book that were written by Schiff during the last years- essays which give an excellent introduction into the method of how to best express and perform a given classical composer. A key precondition for Schiff is the intensive study of the handwritings of composers such as Bach. He made the observation that in performing Bach, some people argue that they only want to play Bach on Clavichord or Harpsichord. “Fortunately this authenticity understanding has not become a dictate and nobody is banned if he plays Bach on a normal piano,” Schiff wrote in an essay “Bach auf dem modernen Klavier (Bach on a modern piano)”. In order to understand Bach’s mind, Schiff stated in this essay that “we must base ourselves on his handwritten manuscripts, the handwriting itself indicated the way which this music goes through. Even if the reading of such a manuscript is painful, or if somebody fears to do so, he should see what joy it is to study the autograph of a beloved human being.” For Schiff it is necessary to have a full historical understanding, including the treatises, schools and writings that were published during the period of the composer’s life. Books written by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, Johann Joachim Quantz, Johann Philipp Kirnberger et al. they are all available for pianists today. They give us an introduction into the secrets of the performance practice; they are true treasures, in respect to information concerning style, aesthetics, decoration, ornamentation and free improvisation of the figured bass and other elements.”
While Bach only very rarely indicated what tempi should be used, the performer must himself chose what kind of articulation and phrasing he wants and “the ideal interpretation not only shapes the individual tone, the individual musical syllable or the ‘word’ in a perfect way, but also entire phrases and segments. Modern piano allows a lot of colours and coloration,” Schiff wrote and he made reference to the great Cellist Pablo Casals, one of the greatest musicians and Bach lovers who had stated, that “(musical) accents are salt and pepper for music. He didn’t go for a stupid-mechanical emphasis of the first beat, but emphasized the irregularities of the musical prosody.” (Bach auf dem modernen KlavierBach on a modern Piano- Florence 1999)
Schiff considers Bach as “the most essential part of our musical heritage.” In order to introduce children into his musical world, children after the first lessons already play the small preludes and the “Note Book for Anna Magdalena Bach.” If they continue along the road with his “Inventions” they will go all the way to the Well-Tempered Piano and if the stars are favourable, they will go somewhere to the Goldberg variations and the “Art of the Fugue.” Along this road they meet the miracles of the French and English Suites, the Partita and a lot more (young students who try to shorten the way and play the Goldberg variations, before having studied the simpler pieces, are advised by him to be patient. The climbing of the Mount Everest fails, if you never climbed smaller hills.) “Bach’s influence on later composers – from Mozart and Beethoven via Chopin to Bartók – is well documented. Still today most of the temporary musicians are fascinated with the art of Bach and feel inspired,” Schiff states. Bach, the deeply religious man- doesn’t demand from us to share his faith, but the unique spiritualization of his music creates a sense of community between the players and listeners.”
Particular attention is given by Schiff to the “Goldberg variations.” Bach wrote this work for two cembalos with two manuals. The music lasts one hour and 15 minutes and all repetitions have to be paid attention to. “Is it not understandable that each musician wants to play this wonderful opus? Its deep humanity and spirituality, its optimism and intellectual strength have an immediate effect on us in those ‘diffuse times’. This is one of the few journeys one could make again and again,” Schiff stated. (Johann Sebastian Bachs “Goldberg-Variationen”- eine Reiseführung – J.S.Bachs “Goldberg-Variations”, a Travel Guide, Florence 2003)
However he also notes that today’s audience is not as lively as it should be in order to understand for example the “punch lines” of musical jokes which were often used by composers such as Haydn or Beethoven. “The soil for Beethoven’s and Haydn’s jokes is today unfortunately dried out. This is all the more deplorable since “The funniest characteristic of Haydn’s humour consists in counter posing expectation and in surprises.” (Humor ist kein Spaß – Humor is no fun, Florence 2009)
In terms of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Schiff wants to give guidelines for students and interpreters concerning the right approach to Mozart Piano concertos and in his essay “Mozarts Klaviersonaten-Mozart’ piano concertos, he underlined some indispensable elements for discovering a piece: “Study the score and learn the orchestral voice, only then you understand the work correctly and can interpret it correctly. Mozart’s piano concertos are real ensemble pieces in which the piano functions as primus inter pares.” He further underlined that attention should be given to the tonal quality. Ugliness and brutality are not wanted. The piano is not a drum. Even notes like the 16th and 32nd should be played in a cantabile way. “Always articulate well, but never lose the big line: speak and think in whole paragraphs and sentences, and not only in syllables and letters.”
Schiff further advised to use the right pedal cautiously. You must learn to play “piano” and “pianissimo” without using the left pedal. It is important to study Mozart’s works and to learn from the best singers and take over their phrasing and natural breathing, Schiff noted. He added that ornaments should be used “economically” and that Leopold Mozart’s “Violin school” should be studied. “Find the right tempo for each piece. Chant and dance are the most natural forms of expressions of the human being. If you have found the right tempo, then keep it. The secret of the tempo rubato is balanced accompaniment, above which the melody can freely float. Not the stiff metronome but the beat of your heart should be your guide.” And lastly he advised: “In your performance you should be sensitive and expressive, not sentimental and theatrical. Viva la semplicitá!” (Mozarts Klavierkonzerte –Mozart’s Piano Concertos)
Ludwig van Beethoven
In an essay entitled Betrachtungen eines Bergsteigers – Einige überflüssige Gedanken zu Beethovens Klaviersonaten(2008) (Reflections of a mountain climber -some superfluous remarks about Beethoven’s piano Sonata), Schiff put together a few essential observations about Ludwig van Beethoven. According to him Beethoven’s Sonatas are “like a gigantic mountain chain, like the powerful Himalaya mountains. These mountains – the gigantic and the smaller ones -form a logical unit“, he wrote. For a pianist who tries to study Beethoven’s Sonatas and present them in a cycle is as challenging as climbing the Himalaya Mountains.
Schiff has been able to perform several times the entire piano Sonata cycle by Ludwig van Beethoven. As he wrote in this essay, he didn’t play Beethoven really well as a young pianist, but during his youth he felt deeply inspired by the Hungarian pianist Annie Fischer, who during the seventies performed all 32 Beethoven Sonatas in Budapest. After that he got to know the pianist Rudolf Serkin at the Marlboro Festival (in Vermont USA). “I could learn a lot from him, like the right reading of the notations. For him a condition sine qua non was to be ‘loyal’ to the text: he has the advice to strictly follow all Beethoven’s specifications.” Then in the 80ies he met the Hungarian musician and violinist Sándor Végh: “It was a gift and privilege to play music with him. We studied, performed and recorded together all 10 Violin Sonatas of Beethoven. Végh who had been before leader of his famous Végh quartet, had a profound knowledge about Beethoven; he liberated me from all fears and inferiority complexes and gave me the necessary courage for the future.”
Systematic study of Beethoven’s Sonatas
Having reached the mature age, I felt the time had come, to play ‘cyclical performances’,” Schiff wrote in his essay. In order to perform Beethoven adequately, he would play on different pianos such as for example the Bösendorfer and Steinway. A major development was for him, as he noted in an essay written 2013 in Florence “Nur aus reiner Quelle” (“Only from clear source questions and answers about Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations), the Diabelli variations, an “opus magnum” in which according to Schiff Beethoven “put together all the different characters of his 32 piano sonatas. His Bagatelles op 126 was his last work with his preferred instrument: poetic and insightful aphorisms in one”.
The role of manuscripts: Beethoven’s String quartet Op 132
Of particular importance for Schiff is the study of Beethoven’s manuscripts and sketches, since they give an insight into the different attempts made by the composer. Today the autograph of the Diabelli Variations and Bagatelles Op 126 are in the hands of the Beethoven House in Bonn. There exists also a Facsimile edition of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op 132 a minor. “Beethoven used to transmit his final ideas in his late quartets.” Hence the importance of the Autograph, like the op 132, on which Schiff worked a lot together with the musical publishing house Henle. He wrote the preface to the facsimile edition. (Florence 2011)
As Schiff wrote in the preface that he considers an “autograph as something quite personal,” and Beethoven’s manuscripts are as different as are his works. Some reflect inner calm and harmony, they are clear and almost without any corrections, others are stormy, dramatic and wild with many incredible changes, Schiff observed. He considers this manuscript as very expressive and lively. Waves and lines indicate the way in which they should be interpreted: Always in ‘waves’, never in ‘geometrical lines’. “The autograph of this quartet (Op 132) is a true discovery for all Beethoven experts and his friends. This is illustrated by the way in which he uses his pen and marks the accents for the dynamics. One should see how stormy his crescendo and decrescendo, how endless and longing his long legato lines are” Schiff remarked.(…) Beethoven never saw the staccato as points but as energetic dashes”, Schiff commented. He referred to the heart of Beethoven’s op 132, the 2nd movement, which is entitled Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lidischenTonart (Thanksgiving to God by one recovering from illness, in the Lydian mode.)The same phrase was written in Italian. It is known, Schiff emphasized, that Beethoven preferred to write his musical specifications in German rather than in Italian, because this was more coherent with his intentions. So the German Mit innigster Empfindung – (with deeply heartfelt sentiment)- as Beethoven wrote above the Molto adagio part of the 2nd movement, sounds, according to Schiff quite different than the Italian phrase con intimissimo sentiment. And one should pay attention, Schiff emphasized, how in the autograph Beethoven changed his writing in measure 31 where the music out of the archaic modality Neue Kraft fühlend (regaining new strength) leads into the bright D-Major. “We look at that autograph with admiration, humility and love. It should be a source of inspiration, for interpreters and students for experts and friends.”
Elisabeth Hellenbroich


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