I listened early this morning to the amazing playing of the Largo from Beethoven’ Piano Concerto number 1, Op. 15. The performer was the late Alicia de Larrocha, and I was blown away by the beauty of her interpretation.
From the start of her career in her native Spain she attracted critical acclaim for her outstanding technique and musicality; after 1947, her reputation was to spread further abroad. Things weren’t easy for her, however, when she performed in German-speaking cultural centres; she was accused by some critics for not executing the correct Interpretation of Mozart and Beethoven.
But it wasn’t only her performances of Spanish music that set new standards, it was her Mediterranean point of view in particular that facilitated her discovery of wonderful nuances in Mozart’s and Beethoven’s works – as is clearly demonstrated her recordings. In my view, music is a matter of the soul, rather than of geographic borders!
Just listen to the Largo from Beethoven’s Concerto number 1, and tell me that you hear a Spanish-born pianist play this. NO… this is universal Beethoven that all of us can enjoy!