I’m on my way to Scotland for the start of mywith violinist Erich Höbarth. On Friday evening we’re playing our opening concert in the Horsecross Concert Hall in Perth, one of Scotland’s newest arts centres.
For this series, I’ve been preparing nearly twenty works by Mozart – duo sonatas and solo piano pieces. It’s not often that one gets the chance to be so steeped in the work of a particular composer, tackling so many works in a short period of time. I’ve known these works for a long time but have never had a reason to practise them, round and round, so intensively.
Musicians always say that Mozart is one of the most demanding of composers because his music is ‘so exposed’. Every note counts and has to be heard in the right relation to the notes around it. Everything has to sound clear and balanced, but not effortful, because the lightness and sense of fun are also essential. On the other hand, the apparent lightness must never conceal the deep feelings running through, or underneath, many of the passages. The balance between the elements of the music is more beautifully judged, and on a finer scale, than that of any other music I know. The more I look into it, the more I respect it. It’s nice to be spending so much time with this music. When the work is going well, I find that it has a very good effect on me.