Schoenberg occurs several times in our conversation. He marks a dividing line for Perahia, who performs nothing later than Pierrot Lunaire, which was premiered in 1912. "I play pretty much everything until Schoenberg, but I don't play atonal music because I don't understand it. Atonal music tries to get its organicism from intellectual concepts. This is serious music. It tries to be comprehensive, in fact. Every note is taken care of, all relationships are judged, and there's a unity in some way, but it's hard for a tonal person to understand it. It measures music completely differently, and you have to have another education for it, which I never properly got."