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."
Courtesy of the Forward, always excellent reading, Opera Chic has learned that Murray Perahia is not the only star in the family, at least if you're a New Yorker or a commuter. Because his little brother Henry is the bridge and roadway officer of New York’s Department of Transportation, writes the Forward.
Henry Perahia tends to face only the audiences at the Concrete
Industry Board. He worries not about Bach, but about too many SUVs
crowding the Brooklyn Bridge. While Murray is frequently quoted in the
media about the transcendent spirituality of music, Henry tends to
focus on such subjects as marine borers — boring sponges, marine worms
and bivalve mollusks — which gnaw away at timber pilings underneath
Manhattan highways built above water. Yet Henry’s preoccupations have
surprising parallels to those of his more internationally famous
Both Perahia brothers see proficiency as
an ongoing process: Henry told The New York Times that repairing the
Williamsburg Bridge while keeping it open to traffic was “like
rebuilding a car’s engine while the car is still running.” Murray, on
the other hand, told Newsweek, “Music is always in motion.… A lot of
pianists practice away and stop searching. Why is that B-flat there?
Where is that F-sharp going? You see, it’s like an airplane — it’s
quite difficult to make the machinery take flight.”
Half-asleep in her South Beach Corbusier chaise longue, Opera Chic hears happy news from her hardcore Scala-going, Conservatorio-going Milanese friends.
On Friday night, despite the not-so-good buzz coming from her very first rehearsal, la signora Fiorenza Cedolins has gotten a b0ttload of applause for her Cio Cio San. Huge ovations for Maestro Chung, too, our favorite mullet-wearing Zen maestro.
NYC's own Maestro Murray Perahia has, as we expected, rawked tha house at Conservatorio Verdi in Milan. He appeared in fine, fine form with a perfectly healthy hand! Yay! Expect pictures, and a little audio snippet, later -- thanks to one of Opera Chic's spies: now we have some serious brunch and shopping commitments! First things (ie, Miami Beach) first.
"The more I realize I'm unable to break Bach's code, the more he fascinates me", says Maestro Perahia -- back in good health, thankfully! -- in today's Corriere della Sera (not online). "I understand Bach's religious temperament, its depth. But I always ask myself, what does Bach's music tells us about sorrow, about the love for life. It takes a lifetime to figure out that dualism. It's all about sadness and, simultaneously, the passion for being alive. I find that in Mozart's late works, and very strongly in Schubert: the knowledge of the nature of love, of human destiny".
k Murray that's really kewl now PLAY already m'kay thx bi