March 26, 2013

Getting to Know Composers and Performers on a Personal Basis

As much as she loves music, Tomoko loves people. “I enjoy other people’s lives and challenges.”

Tomoko also has a strong familiarity with piano composers, noting each one’s characteristics.
“You respect every composer. They have their idea what is best for them. Each composer  has a  different sound and interpretation. It is very complicated.”
“Chopin was a good pianist; both he and Liszt started as performers.”
“Schumann can be hard to play because of the expertise needed by both hand. He himself didn’t play the piano; his wife did. His wife was accomplished in everything.”
“Bernstein was also a good pianist; he has a wonderful touch.”
“Beethoven’s emotions were so strong inside. He couldn’t reach their full depth. Even though he became deaf, his mind could orchestrate.”
“Mozart’s sounds was not of this world. His life was all dreams, and he was very holy. He had a real connection between this life and the next life, perhaps because his mother passed away while he was in Paris.”

She also has inside knowledge of musical performers.
“I met Pablo Casals when he was performing in Arizona in celebration of a library being dedicated to him. He had a young wife, but there was no problem with the age gap.”
“Yo Yo Ma was a math major. He didn’t practice forty hours a week in college, but did play noon concerts while at Harvard. After he graduated then he become a professional musician. That break was a smart idea.”
“Andre Watts was fantastic at one time. He is known for the polished quality of his tone. He had a deeper interpretation than other performers. However, he burned out after starting so young.”
Tomoko comments on the difficulties of performing early. Menuhin was a protégé, and then collapsed. In contrast, Isaac Stern lasted a long time because he delayed professional performance while he was young.”
“Did you know that Horowitz sang? He made mistakes when he performed on the piano, but he was all natural in his approach so it worked. “
“Claudio Arrau was a child protégé, but played even in his late eighties. He played the Emperor’s Concerto almost 2000 times. He is a great inspiration.”

Tomoko concludes, "I meet so many people, and learn from them.It's my education."