Saturday, August 12, 2006

Andrei Gavrilov

Next to Gulda, Gavrilov is my favorite pianist (on a par with Richter). BTW, at home the linux machines are named gulda, gavrilov, and gould (gilels is standing in line).

Prokofiev - Suggestion Diabolique, Op.4 - Andre Gavrilov

I had the pleasure to hear him play above piece live in Bonn, on two occasions even. He must have played that piece a million times. To hear him perform this piece was breath taking, playing like a maniac with full energie and temperament. And the live performance was just as perfect as this recording from 1980 (the link might or might not work, right now the piece is not available on CD).

From Russia's Great Modern Pianists by Mark Zilberquit:
"These are the pictures painted by my deceased father," says Andrei Gavrilov. "Some of his works are exhibited in the Tretiakov Gallery and other museums. He was a very serious and original painter. I was fond of watching him work and of course I also dreamt of becoming a painter. I was supposed to be taught painting and my mother planned for my elder brother (he is three years my senior) to study music. She was a pianist who had had a Conservatory education. She had been tutoring him quite zealously for three years and he was to enter the Central Music School with a rather complicated program for his age, when out of the blue I came up to the piano and . . . played his entire program by ear. Since that moment there was a reorientation in our family. As a result my brother has become a painter and I, as you know, a musician . . ."


I was made to practice a great deal indeed. It is enough to say that for at least an hour and a half I used to play scales, exercises, Hanon including. As a result, by the time I left school, technical hurdles of any kind practically ceased to exist for me. For instance, I developed such deftness of fingers that now it makes absolutely no difference to me with what fingers to play the trills: 1-3, 2-3 or 3-4 and 4-5.
Did you do this work willingly?
Of course not. I especially disliked the Czerny etudes. But what could I, poor thing, do about it? I was gripped in an "iron vise."
Somewhere else I red he was sometimes watching through the window with tears in his eyes the other kids outside playing.
It is difficult for me to answer this question. For instance, Sviatoslav Richter began studying music later than is customary. But never in his studies had there been any forcing. As a result he had certain technical hurdles that he had to deal with later. But on the other hand, he studied playfully, and hence his attitude towards practicing. That important quality has been preserved by him up to the present. But times have changed. It is difficult to judge what attitude is the correct one.


All my life, literally, since the age of three, my idol has been Sviatoslav Richter. In my childhood I even had a game with my mother: when I played well, in order to encourage me, she would say that I played just like Sviatoslav Richter. And then I was in seventh heaven. At that time, of course, I could not even suspect that Fate would grant me such happiness as to have close contact with that outstanding musician.
I always felt Gavrilov did not have the public success he deserved, but it probably does not matter so much - having been able to gain Richter's respect. Reminds me of Gulda saying Jarrett is more important as a pianist than Horowitz.
I love literature, theatre, cinema very much, not to speak of painting. I love whatever is nice, whatever is beautiful, whatever is talented. All the rest does not exist for me. No matter what serious faults a person has, if he is truly talented the shortcomings move to the background and in the foreground there remains only the Talent.


You may be right. Our art of performance wields a special power. It is the most communicable means of intercourse, however ephemeral. The concert is over and only memories remain. But that is not insignificant either.
There are many reasons why I don't envy musicians, but there is one thing I have envy for, it is their job to create emotions. But then, software has a feel to it too.

No comments: