Thursday, December 29, 2016

"A language of the human psyche"

The extraordinary British pianist Imogen Cooper (a favorite of Spivey Hall audiences) was interviewed in May 2008 by Stephen Moss for The Guardian.  The published interview concludes with a marvelous story, and a beautiful thought for the approaching new year:

Playing the piano is not a technical exercise, she insists, but an attempt to express profound thoughts and emotions. "I played in Buenos Aires," she recalls. "It was an all-Schubert recital. A young girl, she must have been about 18, came and saw me afterwards. She said, 'I've never been to a classical concert before; can I tell you about what I heard? I heard fear, horror, death, tenderness; I heard somebody who was very solitary.' She described exactly what this music is about, yet she knew nothing about Schubert at all. That's miraculous. Within this unspoken language of music, you can somehow find a language of the human psyche."