Discovering Sound at Belgais

Claudio Abbado, our forever conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, referred to the importance of listening and of silence in music. Daniel Barenboim, one of the finest pianists and conductors of our time, also celebrates silence in music:

There are many types of silence. There is a silence before the note, there is a silence at the end and there is a silence in the middle.
— Daniel Barenboim

The celebrated tireless Portuguese pianist, Maria João Pires, once more shares thoughts and feelings about sound and silence. And goes beyond: teaches and shares her personal discoveries of a lifetime, after having dedicated her entire life to the piano. We have already published about her personal thoughts on technique (The Universe of Maria João Pires), and are delighted to now share her Discovering Sound documentary.

A small token of our worship for this incredible artist and human being, a couple of days in advance of her appearance in London (at Cardogan Hall), to bring us a delightful gift: Beethoven’s ultimate Piano Sonata, Op. 111, in C minor. Bravo!

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The Universe of Maria João Pires

pires_maria_joaoShe is the most acclaimed pianist of her country – Portugal. She is actually internationally celebrated! Even though she has recently renounced to her portuguese nationality due to a huge disagreement with the Portuguese government, she will always be the one child with gold fingers at the piano in her homeland – no doubt about this.

Politics and art, such a theme for long hours of unconclusive considerations… and it invariably brings me Fausto! It may be good news then that our Maria João has never given a chance to Mephisto!

But getting back to our post here. Surfing around in search of music pieces played by Maria João Pires in order to help a friend of mine to get started with her musical universe, I just found a very interesting and stimulating documentary named Technique doesn’t exist. Such a challenging title – no doubt I stopped the search to focus on it.

This documentary brings different perspectives on Maria João from different point of views – herself, an student’s (Julien Liebeer), a former producer from BBC Television’s Music and Arts Department (Donald Sturrock). Very knowledgeable and smart people – such a lovely character perception and definitively a must-watch for each and every piano lover.

And to close this post, I will let you reflect on an extract from the documentary – in the words of Maria João herself:

Technique doesn’t exist. The technique is how to use your body in order to produce something you want to do. And this is every moment changing. So, because it is always changing, you can’t consider it a technique. It is an art of using the body. Of course you can see, dancers have a technique, musicians have a technique, but it is our words to explain it because in the end it is not a technique. If you can, the technique is not good anymore. So I think we approach music and we see how can we be the instruments of that.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Technique doesn’t exist. Enjoy!

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