English profiles


Amsterdam, 16 November 2019

The interview with Spanish pianist Javier Perianes took place in the restaurant of the Movenpick Hotel in Amsterdam, we were the only ones and there was some loud music on the radio. I was really glad when he asked the waitress after a few minutes whether she could turn down the volume of the music…


Willem Boone (WB): I looked at your discography and noticed that you didn’t record that much Spanish music, are you afraid of being pigeonholed?

Javier Perianes (JP): No, I think with my record company Harmonia Mundi we are looking for a balance between the Spanish repertoire and repertoire that is part of the life of a pianist, e.g. Debussy, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Beethoven.  My last cd d edicated to Ravel will be released in two or three weeks. It includes Le Tombeau de Couperin both in the orchestral and original version and the Piano Concerto in G major.  In the past I recorded de Falla, Turina, Granados, Blasco de Nebra, Mompou, so quite a lot of Spanish music and I am planning more of it for the near future.  I am not afraid of being pigeonholed as a Spanish pianist “only playing Spanish music”, if I record or play it in concert, I do so because I think it needs to be played as international repertoire. At the moment, I am doing a beautiful project of Spanish and Latin music with viola player Tabea Zimerman.  A lot of projects are planned ahead, but Spanish music will always be at the center of my attention, along with international repertoire. 

WB: Can you say that there is a Spanish tradition or a piano school?

JP: Probably there was one, but at this moment not so much. We live in a world with many influences, a lot of information is only one mouse click away and you have everything you want. In the past, we had our glorious representative Alicia de Larrocha and she will remain the greatest ever. 

(To one of the servants in the restaurant: Sorry, I have a question for you,  could you put the music a bit softer?) 

Alicia was for me the perfect example of how to combine the classical repertoire, Mozart, Brahms, Chopin with Spanish music, she was the last descendant of a big school, she was a pupil of Marshall, who studied with Granados, so there you could find a direct line and a proper school.   After Larrocha, I find it really difficult to define a Spanish piano school.  I heard a great conductor once say: “Spain is a country of individualities, not a country of collectives.” I don’t know whether I agree, since our orchestras sound much better than before, but when you think of Spain, you think of Larrocha, Casals, Narciso Yepes, when thinking of the Netherlands,  there is Haitink and a lot of great instrumentalists like Brautigam and Janssen and especially the Concertgebouw Orchestra!  Of course, there are many other great Spanish pianists, e.g. Orozco,  who is sadly neglected by today’s generations, since they don’t know exactly who he was. There is a beautiful recording of the Rachmaninov concertos with Edo de Waart . 

WB: Larrocha had a lot of students, hadn’t she?

JP: Yes, she taught mostly Spanish music at the Academia Marshall, but mainly at the end of her career, because before her she had such a busy schedule that she was constantly on tour. 

WB: I know she was the “queen of Spanish music” but I think she was sometimes annoyed that people always asked for Spanish music, whereas she wanted to play the classical repertoire as well.

JP: Of course! It’s good you ask me this question, I listened to a lot of her recordings lately and she is a pianist and a human being who fascinates me. I had the chance to know her and work with her, it was a privilege, a gift that she wanted to listen to me. It was very special. She was one of the artists for whom the cd played an important role in their careers and lives, there were no recordings of Albeniz, Granados, de Falla, Mompou, Montsalvatge until she recorded them, or at least there were no performances on the same level of perfection. RCA and Decca made sure they were distributed in the whole world. One year ago, there was a beautiful documentary on television and a lot of pianists were speaking about her, Martha Argerich, Maria Joao Pires, Daniel Barenboim.. I remember what Argerich or Pires said about her:  “She had everything we always wanted: rhythm, beautiful colours.. Among colleagues, she was not the Spanish pianist playing Spanish music, she was a lot more. Andre Previn said in the same documentary  that he was looking in his schedule for the dates he was working with Larrocha, because he knew that those weeks were going to be exceptional! There are impressive recordings of Brahms 2 with Eugen Jochum,  Rachmaninoff 3 with Previn, Khatchaturian with Frücbeck de Burgos, both Ravel concertos.

WB: Even today there are not that many recordings of Iberia or Goyescas,  and nearly all by Spanish pianists!

JP: Yes, probably. I honestly think that’s a mistake, because I am convinced that you can approach that music without being Spanish! People are confused by the necessity of being from the same country as the composer, you don’t have to be German either to play Beethoven, nobody has ever thought about that. Spanish music is inspired by Spanish folklore, but Schubert, Beethoven and Mozart were inspired by folklore too. It’s mostly music coming from the people. 

WB: Maybe the rythms in Spanish music are very difficult for people from other countries?

JP: I am not entitled to say I play certain music better than other pianists, because I am Spanish. 

WB: I spoke to one of the best Dutch piano teachers, Jan Wijn, and he is very interested in Spanish piano music. I asked him whether a Dutch person can learn to play Albeniz like Larrocha or yourself and he said not all Spanish pianists are convincing either and some of them play Granados like Schumann..

JP: I know, but the influence of Schumann on Granados is huge! 

WB: Yes, I was going to say: “It’s not that bad!”

JP: No, it’s not that bad at all! In the Goyescas there are some traces of Spanish music, but he was basically a romantic, a post-romantic in his case, so if you are going to play the Goyescas, do you have to be Spanish?

WB: Can you mention any non-Spanish pianist who plays “your” music really well you think?

JP: I heard Beatrice Rana the other day, she played one of the books of Iberia without any problem, the Argentine pianist Ingrid Fliter plays de Falla, even Angela Hewitt plays de Falla, Benjamin Grosvenor plays a lot of Granados and Albeniz. During his last tour in South America, Kissin played Albeniz, Daniel Barenboim recorded a couple of books from Iberia, you can go on. Aldo Ciccolini was very famous for his interpretations of Spanish music, Martha Argerich played de Falla’s Nights.. Some of them have a different perspective, but are they less good? No way! 

WB: I have the feeling that a lot of people may not realize how difficult Iberia and the Goyescas are! Iberia seems to be very unpianistic

JP:  Iberia is quite difficult and challenging, but in the end, it works, it’s clear what Albeniz wanted to achieve. With the Goyescas, it’s different: it’s also very challenging, de Falla wrote a very difficult piece, the Fantasia Baetica. 

WB: Does it add aything when you are from the same country as the composer?

JP: Probably, or you think you can add something, it’s the preconception a lot of people have. Imagine that you have a score you want to study without any recording: you open the score, you look at the rhythm indications on the first page, what are your references? Music itself! If you wish to play Iberia, the worst way to approach the score is listening to one of Alicia’s recordings, approach the score as you would do with a contemporary piece the first time in your life! If you are Spanish, do the same. Having said this, the recordings by Larrocha and Orozco are spectacular of course!

WB: How can you memorize Iberia or Goyescas, a Beethoven sonata seems logical to me, but this music is like one huge improvisation!

JP: I understand what you mean, but in the case of Iberia, it’s much better than you think, the “system” in all the pieces is quite similar. The central part is slower, the “copla” as we call it in Spain and the first and last half is usually faster, with some exceptions, like Evocation, it’s like a Debussy-prelude written in Spain. 

WB: That’s maybe one of the easiest to remember!

JP: Of course, because it’s very short, but the other ones are not that difficult to remember. I can tell you that a Schumann piano sonata, Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto or even the 4th Beethoven concerto are difficult too, there are a lot of notes to remember too!

WB: You mentioned the second Brahms concerto, but there are not that many changes in rhythm whereas in Iberia it changes almost every minute!

JP: O no, take for instance El Albacin: the first section is the zapateado (sings), the middle section is the copla, curiously Albeniz wrote: “Keep the same tempo”, people use to play slower, I don’t know why. You should maintain the same tempo throughout the whole piece. Of course you have to be flexible, the tempo is not like a metronome, I am completely against that,  but the base has to be more or less the same. Or with “Corpus Christi ..” , you have more or less the same structure which is, even with all the episodic writing, easy to understand. There are definitely a lot of notes to remember, but in a Chopin sonata, there are a lot of notes as well. It’s about perspective. If you start to play Brahms second concerto, it’s very difficult and you think: ”This concerto lasts about for 50 minutes, it’s like the duration of the whole Goyescas. “

WB: There is another Spanish pianist I like a lot, although he is not very well known, Esteban Sanchez. 

JP: You mention one of my idols! His Iberia or his de Falla are very different from de Larrocha’s, I wish I could play like him, his interpretations are full of character and there is a feeling of improvisation, with Sanchez, you feel he is reading the music for the first time. It sounds fresh, inspirational, anew. He was one of the greatest Spanish pianists ever and all the famous colleagues like Alicia and Orozco respected him. He took the decision that he didn’t want to have an active concert career.. 

WB: Yes, I wondered about that, he made only a few recordings, but did he play a lot?

JP: No, he was a good friend of Daniel Barenboim. A lot of Sanchez’ recordings were no longer available at some time, but Barenboim was indirectly responsible that the recording of Iberia was not forgotten. He visited Spain and said: “Why are you asking me about Iberia whereas you have here, together with Alicia, one of the best pianists I ever heard in my life”. I have a recording of Sanchez in Beethoven 4th concerto and Beethovens Bagatelles, It’s amazing and spectacular. 

WB: I do agree that the recordings are great, but they were not very well recorded!

JP: No, the quality is not good.  Iberia was recorded in only a few days, but te spirit is amazing. It’s not comparable to Alicia’s recordings with all the amazing engineers from Decca. 

WB: But she said, and I thought that was quite alarming, about her own recordings that she didn’t recognize her own playing!

JP: O my god, you are right, that sounds alarming indeed! Maybe she was happier with other companies, since she made more than one recording of Iberia. But returning to Sanchez, he was one of the most talented pianists I ever listened to in my life.

WB: Did you attend any of his concerts?

JP: No.. yes, I did, it was some kind of informal concert. It was part of a competition and several contestants played, he played for only five or ten minutes, but it was magical. The sound!

WB: What did he play?

JP: I don’t remember, I was only 14 years old at the time, I was shocked to see him, since he was not in a very good physical shape, but the sound that he created was magical. It’s curious you mention Esteban Sanchez! Even young Spanish pianists have no idea, when you mentioned Sanchez or Orozco!

WB: I remember when internet was “booming” around 2000, there were all these forums on Yahoo, and I discovered a lot of piano “buffs” like myself. There were a few people who said “Esteban Sanchez is really good”. I got hold of one of his recordings and I thought that it was really good and that he and Alicia are complementary!

JP: Absolutely! 

WB: They are both fantastic and they are very different..

JP: It’s true!

WB: And I got other recordings like his Iberia, de Falla, Fauré. I don’t have his Beethoven 4 though..

JP It was not published, only as part of some Spanish collection. It’s strange, the Spanish national radio started a series about great national pianists, which was very good of course. There was Alicia, Orozco, Iturbi, Achucarro, and there was a recording of Beethoven 4 with Sanchez, I believe with an Italian conductor. There is another live recording from the Danish radio of Rachmaninov 2, but then unfortunately he stopped playing and wanted to live in a little village in Baragoz. He was dedicated to his pupils, playing concerts here and there, but nothing serious..

WB: And didn’t he die young?

JP: No, indeed, he was killed in an accident. 

WB: I read in an earlier interview that your main aim is to “enjoy the music. Each and every one of the projects that I have the opportunity to face.” Is that still applicable to you?

JP: Absolutely, every single day. If someone asks me: “What is your goal? What are you really enjoying?”, I say: “Today’s concert!” Of course, we should enjoy what we will do in the future,  yesterday, I got good news, well, it  isn’t really good news when you have to replace someone who cannot play. I heard Nelson Freire is recovering from surgery, and I was asked to stand in for him in a concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Beethoven Emperor Concerto. I played there three years ago with Charles Dutoit, so yesterday, I was happy on the one hand, but on the other hand I thought of poor Nelson.. I admire him so much, he is a giant, we know each other very well. I was together with him in the last ICMA, when he got a lifetime achievement award, we spoke a lot about pianists and piano. So if you ask me whether I am excited to play with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, I answer: “No, I think of the Granados and Brahms Piano Quintets of tonight”, and yes, I performed them two days ago, but these pieces are endless. You always discover new details, along with the string players. You have to be focused on what you are doing at that moment.

WB: I read a review about your recital in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London from April this year:  “Not a Spanish fire eater, but a world-class poet”, does that suit you?

JP: I don’t know! I don’t like to think about myself too much. The good thing about yourself and finding your own voice and sound is that you don’t have rivals. You know what I mean? There is no one like you! I asked one of the greatest pianists ever about this and he said:”That’s wonderful, because nobody can be like you!” You have to find your own voice and the only way you can do that is by searching. Probably I am one of the pianists who enjoys most what he is doing. 

WB: Are you sometimes surprised by what critics write or tell, either positive or negative?

JP: I have a very good friend, a conductor with whom I recorded, Joseph Pons, and he said something I love: “If you believe the good reviews, you have to believe the bad ones too. “ Sometimes you get a review and you think: “That’s true, because I was absolutely fantastic”, you have the obligation to believe a bad review too.  So it’s like I told you at the beginning of the interview, perspective is something very important. When someone writes something in a constructive way, you can agree or disagree. I have to confess too that I don’t read a lot of reviews, only when someone gives them to me. I don’t have the time, if I spend an hour reading them, I can’t practise! The main goal of what I do is: “Enjoy what I do and make other people happy!”As long as I can make at least one person in the audience happy, my mission is accomplished. 

WB: There is a question I am dying to ask you and for that reason alone I am very happy to interview you: I have a recording of you at home of Blasco de Nebra. I didn’t know the music very well and I really love it, I think it’s touching and not terribly difficult to play, I am a bad pianist, but I believe there are bits and pieces that I could play myself, but there is a problem: the only score I saw of it was a facsimile. I am not a good sight reader and I couldn’t read what was written. Is there any good printable score of it?

JP: Yes, there is! In Spain, there is a place, called Union Musical, I think you can find the score there.  You can ask Sophie of my management to remind me to find scores of Blasco de Nebra. I can take pictures of both editions I have and send them to you and I will let you know where you can find editions. 

WB: That’s terribly kind of you, I went to the local music shop and they showed me the only edition they had and I truly couldn’t read it.. 

JP: It shouldn’t be that difficult, or I could let you know where to find the scores. 

WB: It’s very beautiful music!

JP: It’s special, but the second movements are challenging, they are Scarlatti-like..

WB: As I told you, I am a bad pianist, but interestingly enough, I have affinity with Scarlatti and Blasco de Nebra sometimes reminds me of Scarlatti..

JP: It’s perfect, because the second movements are like Scarlatti, the first movements are like Soler and the third movements could be Carl Philip Emanuel Bach.. 

WB: Hmm, I am not very fond of Carl Philip Emanuel Bach!  Do you know much about the life of Blasco de Nebra? 

JP: No, he was an organ player in the cathedral of Sevilla. Apparently, he composed much more than the music that was published, a lot of it disappeared. We don’t know what happened with a lot of his scores. You can’t imagine, I got the scores of his sonatas from Denmark! 

WB: And he was a Spanish composer?

JP: Yes, he was from Aragon and he moved to Sevilla, where he stayed for a long time. 

WB: Was he a contemporary of Soler?

JP: Probably he heard of Soler, I don’t remember exactly when these composers lived. I am planning to do another cd of Blasco de Nebra. 

WB: For which instrument did he write, was it for the harpsichord?

JP: No, it was for the fortepiano, that’s what you can read in the original score, but I am not sure what he meant. 

WB: That must have been around 1750 then..

JP: Yes, although I am not sure that he had the same fortepiano in mind as the instrument you and I am thinking of! 

WB: At least he must have known these instruments! I read a review in the Independent of your Blasco de Nebra cd and the critic wrote “Scarlatti is the clearest model for these sonatas”, would you agree?

JP: For the second movements probably, for the first movements, no way! 

WB: I must say this music was really a discovery!

JP: It’s very special music indeed, I like it very much too. 

WB: I have a few questions about Granados, you will play his Piano Quintet tonight, is that a youth work?

JP:  Yes, that’s true and it’s very experimental. It appeared that musicologists in Spain noticed that the score was printed with a lot of mistakes. When the quartet and myself recorded this piece for Harmonia Mundi,  we did a good job finding possible mistakes in the score and correcting them. I have an old edition in which I made all the changes and I am not sure whether there exists any “good” edition of it in Spain. It’s a very short piece, it lasts only 15 minutes. People love it, because it’s very fresh and inspired, but it’s not easy!

WB: You said there were mistakes in the score, how do you know that?

JP: It’s quite obvious, if you have a G-major chord and you write an F in the base in a perfect cadenza, you think: “This is the editor!” They haven’t changed it. There are even mistakes in de Falla’s music. He was very peculiar, I read some of the letters he wrote to his editor: “Don’t change that note! I want it there for a reason. “ And even with that, the editor in London was making the piece a bit sweeter and less bitter, like de Falla wanted it. So this happens all the time, but in the case of Granados, I think we are talking more about a sloppy editor.

WB: Did Granados write much in general, because I only know some of the famous piano works…

JP: The Valsos Poeticos, the Goyescas..

WB: Yes, that I know, but did he write a lot of orchestral music?

JP: No, apart from the Goyescas, you know, it’’s also an opera, not a lot of orchestral pieces. You may know, he died quite young, I am sure he was to write a lot of other pieces.

WB: I already quoted from your concert in April in London, the critic wrote, I am not sure whether I pronounce it correctly, Montanesa from the Four Spanish Pieces, composed in Paris, not long after the Estampes, sounds like a water colour imitation of La soirée dans Granade , what do you think of this assessment?

JP: Could be, but curiously, it could also be the other way round! Why not? We have to remember that de Falla and Debussy were very close friends, de Falla respecte Debussy very much. The reason that he composed “La porta del Vino” was that he received a post card from Granada, sent by de Falla! Debussy was never in Spain

WB: I think only once?

JP: Not in Granada, not in the South! And that only time is difficult to prove. Ravel went to Spain a lot.

WB: Debussy wrote an orchestral piece, Iberia, do you think it sounds Spanish?

JP: Absolutely! It sounds more Spanish than a lot of Spanish music does! 

WB: So you don’t necessarily need to go there?

JP: That brings us back to the beginning of this interview: do you need to be Spanish to represent anything Spanish? Debussy was even more serious: he got inspiration from Spanish rhythms, but he never went there. That proves that Spanish music can be absolutely international, Debussy proved it, and Ravel too with the Rhapsodie Espagnole! On the other hand,  in a lot of pieces by de Falla, you can smell the French colour all the time, e.g. in the Nights in the gardens of Spain. De Falla met a lot of French composers, like Dukas, Ravel and Debussy. He was involved in the cultural life of Paris at the beginning of the 20th century. 

WB: What do you think of the “Noces”, do you think the piano is only primus inter pares?

JP: I think so, it’s part of the orchestral colours. It’s obvious that de Falla didn’t want to write a proper piano concerto.  You don’t need to be “mad” about that, you have to accept that the piece is beautiful the way it is and the piano is part of the orchestra. I would say it’s a beautiful landscape that starts with the sunset and it finishes with the sunrise in the morning. So it’s a night in Granada or in Andalusia, but you don’t need to be there to feel that! It’s a magical piece, but if you go to a concert hall, expecting to hear a proper piano concerto, don’t listen to this piece! 

WB: Another maybe questionable quote from the same review as the one above, regarding your performance of the 3rd Chopin Sonata: “You could hear the voice of Elisabeth Leonskaja , as master interpreter of this work, echoing her master Richter exclaiming: “What, don’t you love music enough? “ as Perianes ignored the first movement repeat.” What’s your opinion about repeats?

JP: You know, I just recorded the sonata and I played the repeat of course, I remember during that recital, I also included some Nocturnes and with the repeat of the first movement of the sonata, the concert would have been a bit too long. I remember I did play the repeat in other recitals during the same tour. It’s not something I do deliberately. It’s the same discussion about the last Schubert sonata, people ask me: “Do you play the repeats?” and I answer: “Yes, I do.” “Do you always play it?” No, it depends on the concert. 

WB: Do you play Chopin’s second sonata too?

JP: Yes, I do. 

WB: Because it seems that in its first movement, you also have to repeat the Grave!

JP: Yes, that makes sense, because it’s a very short piece. 

WB: It seems Chopin wrote it in the score.

JP: Yes, absolutely. 

WB: But almost nobody does it?

JP He was very explicit!

WB: Tonight you play with the Quiroga Quartet, I know you know each other really well, would you have accepted an invitation from a quartet you don’t know and play the same repertoire?

JP: Yes, of course! I played with the Tokyo Quartet, I played at the London Proms with the Calidor Quartet from the United States, also with the Brentano Quartet, but I have less and less time, I am more inclined to play with the same partners, e.g. Tabea Zimermann, the viola player, we recorded a beautiful cd for Harmonia Mundi. We are playing in the United States and in Paris. Of course, I am open to work with other musicians, I just made a recording with the cellist Jean Guihen Queyras of the Debussy sonata. I am completely open to new collaborations, but I have very limited time with recordings, orchestral rehearsals, recitals, you can’t do everything. Seasons are planned two or three years ahead, so for this project with the Quiroga Quartet, we have one week, and for my recital tour with Tabea Zimermann in the USA two or three weeks and another week for the recording. 

WB: Which repertoire will you be playing with her?

JP: You are not going to believe it, Spanish and Latin-American repertoire!

WB: For viola and piano, there is not much, is there?

JP: The seven Spanish songs by de Falla, arranged by Zanetti. We will also play the Grand Tango by Piazzolla, the Tango by Albeniz, the Cantilena from the Bachianas Brasileiras by Villa-Lobos,  Montsalvatge, Granados. Of course, we are talking about arrangements, also of beautiful songs by Casals. It will be out in March 2020. 

WB: What’s the reason for tonight to combine Granados with Brahms?

JP: I think the promotor wanted us to do this. With a Spanish pianist and a Spanish quartet, they sometimes ask to play Turina or Granados. It would have made more sense to play the quintet of Turina, one of his first pieces, in which he tried to imitate Franck. It would have fitted nicely with the Brahms. On the other hand, the link between Granados and Schumann – in spite of what the Dutch pianist you mentioned before said- is closer than you think, so it makes sense in a way to put Granados together with Brahms, since Schumann was close to Brahms. We are all trying to find an explanation for a programme for which there isn’t really one: Ginastera – the first piece the quartet will play – is not Spanish, but Latin American, very powerful, than Spanish repertoire and then general repertoire. 

WB: The Brahms is really what they call a “meaty” piece!

JP: My god, it’s full of meat, it’s like a big entrecote! It’s a beautiful piece. 

WB: You mentioned something interesting about the future of classical music: “The conception of the audience is different, the way of accessing music is changing, but I think the perception, the expectation of people will not diminish.” Why do you think that?

JP: It’s what I feel when going to concerts as a member of the audience and if I have the chance I keep trying to go to concerts as a member of the audience, of course, if someone is giving you something special, you want to continue going to concerts, because it changes your life in more than one way. We are complaining all the time that classical music is dying and that there are no audiences any more, but if you go to the Concertgebouw for a concert, they are often sold out..

WB: It’s true, but when I was waiting for you in the lobby, I saw everybody was looking on his cell phone, doing stupid games, do you think people have time to sit down and enjoy music in these days where everybody is in a hurry?

JP: It’s a different perspective, you have different needs in your life, a lot of things are changing, you can find a lot of information right away. Do we still have time to sit down, close our eyes and listen to music? I am a very positive man, I think there is still hope, I am convinced that people still want to have that spiritual concert experience.. 

WB: Maybe even then…  

JP: .. i-Tunes or Spotify, music is wonderful, I listen to it on my I-phone, but of course when you are there, and you feel the vibration coming from the performers, that’s a different experience!

WB: Absolutely, I really think it’s a blessing to sit down and enjoy beautiful music!

JP: O yes, I often think: “Now, I am here and nobody can phone me.  Thank you for this!”

WB: Do you often go to concerts yourself?

JP: Sadly, I don’t have much time, but when I have the opportunity, I go. I usually arrive one day before my concert and then I check what’s going on. 

WB: You mentioned Nelson Freire, whom I admire a lot, and what I like about him is when he plays as a soloist, he mostly stays for the second half! 

JP: Me too! Some conductors ask me: “Why are you staying? You could stay in your dressing room!”, but I don’t have a lot of opportunities to go to concerts. I was in Cincinnati some time ago and they played Dvorak 9 in the second half. I know, it’s a very famous piece, I can download any version of it, but live is a different experience.  I went both times to listen, it was a nice way to see whether they played very differently the second evening, it was very touching. 

WB: Last question: I read that you favour Yamaha pianos?

JP: That’s not completely true,  some time ago, I had some relationships with Yamaha, but I played a lot on Steinway, Fazioli pianos and with good technicians, you can have a wonderful instrument, so I don’t have any favourites. What I want to have is a well prepared instrument. Maintenance is very important, you need a good technician to prepare the instrument and give the performer what he needs. 

WB: Thank you very much and enjoy the concert tonight, I will attend!

JP: You know, I will be back in Amsterdam in October I think to play de Falla’s Noces, so you can hear it live! 

WB: Wonderful, I heard it live by Alicia and also by Nelson!

JP: O, my god.. He plays a lot of Spanish repertoire, Navarra, pieces from Iberia, Granados, I heard a cd of his and he played Navarra, it was full of rhythm, colour..

WB: He has one quality, no, he has a lot of qualities, but an important one is that he can play a big forte without sounding aggressive!

JP: Absolutely!

WB: I hope he is doing well, he broke his shoulder… Do you think it can still heal, at his age? He is 75 after all..

JP:  I hope so. I sent a message to Bosco, his friend and I wrote: “Tell maestro to recover soon, because we need him! “ We will always need him, for me he is an example with his honesty. Musicians deliver feelings, emotions and make our life easier and better! 

WB: Do you think it’s dangerous to stay away for three months from the piano  om the piano during his recovery?

JP: He can still practise, he can play with the other hand, it’s not that bad. He has been playing his entire life, so he would probably need two or three weeks to get back in shape. He has that amazing technique, it’s completely effortless .

WB: Ok, thank you once again and break a leg tonight!