Artistic Views and Principles
Michelangeli used to say, ‘Music is the only reason for my exis- tence, and the only thing that really interests me’. He even studied and learnt about the construction of various instruments, some- times introducing improvements. He also maintained that in the final analysis his interest in his students was directly related to their musical worth. For Michelangeli, genuine love of music was an indispensable condition for obtaining results in his work, and it alone provided the key to overcoming the colossal hardships, obstacles and even nerves involved. In his laconic, sometimes blunt, but extremely vivid style of speech, he once stated: ‘Playing is not a profession, it’s a way of life, for which strength of will and natural gifts are not enough — it also requires a tremendous spirit of sacrifice. Being a musician does not mean dressing up like a penguin and appearing before an applauding public, it means representing something that comes from a higher sphere, and it demands constant struggling and incredibly arduous work. Otherwise one does not become a musician, but a piece of scenery, capable of arousing applause for a few short seasons — a falling star heading towards nonetity’. Or again: ‘It’s not enough to use your seat and hands at the piano. Of course, in order to express yourself, you have to have the means, but nevertheless, the end is always the music’. (2) In Michelangeli’s understanding, the artist should represent a synthesis of all that exists in the world, though never a cover...
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