steemed friends of audiophile music, the concert grand piano is incontestably the king of instruments. I could now wax lyrical about its incomparable dynamics and go into its ability to go from the tenderest of sounds in a soft minor key to the magnificent power of a fortissimo, or I could rhapsodise about its impressive size and elegance. But what makes this instrument really fascinating is its individuality, since each one is unique in itself - created by a master. A concert grand has a life all of its own that a virtuoso can really "get into" and hence bring the work of the composer to life. In our "Grand Piano Masters" series, we get into the character and soul of the concert grand piano and experience, during the performance itself, the dialogue between the instrument, the virtuoso and the performance space.
Appassionata - appassionato (passionate, impassioned) - passione (passion), to have a passion for something, to be a passionate artist, going to the limits of suffering for the sake of it, not because of the benefits. I might perhaps also mention the word 'calling' here, the passion that is the prerequisite of mastery. For, esteemed friends, which of us today still feels himself called to do something and is prepared to live for that calling? To wander up to the heights and down into the deep valleys, to accept setbacks, other people's lack of understanding, personal sacrifices and much, much more?
The young virtuoso in his prime and with all his charm must first be polished year after year in order to become a glittering diamond - a true master. For what distinguishes a master is the passion, the fervour and, above all, the experience. I like youthful "Sturm and Drang", as you no doubt also do - it comes at us like a breath of fresh air, irrepressible and powerful. Yet when that first fame evaporates, when you've played the big houses and the euphoria of the moment inevitably ends up back in the same old rooms? What then?
Then you need love, unconditional passion and a deeply felt calling to make it to true masterdom. This particular recording is of a concert by a true past master who has "been there and done that" and who is now conveying and passing on her experiences and artistic merit to the up-and-coming generation. Lilya, with all her humaneness and virtuosity of performance, has crossed the boundary into that space where pride is refined into modesty, with the result that what is being played is measured against how it is conveyed to the person instead of against the preordained perfection of the music aristocracy.
Melancholy for the transience of the moment is etched in her features when she has given the audience her all. At the "Bad Homburg Bechstein Concerts in the Castle", we had the opportunity to witness her interpretation of two impassioned composers - Beethoven, who carried the "Appassionata" inside him, and Brahms, who until his death held fast to his unrequited "Passione" for Clara Schumann, the love of his life...