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Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli as I Knew Him

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Lidia Kozubek

This book explores the artistic principles of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, his concert activities, his art of piano playing, as well as his pedagogy and his attitude towards his students. The author presents the biographical data of the artist as well as the list of his recordings and introduces this extraordinary artist to a wider audience, especially to admirers of beautiful music and its performers. The book aims at encouraging in particular the young to follow the high artistic principles required in such a refined and unique art.

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Michelangeli’s Pianistic Art — Top Achievement of Contemporary Musical Performance Culture

Extract

One of the most eminent contemporary psychologists maintains that true progress in the world is almost entirely due to the efforts of a handful of geniuses. At first glance, such an assertion might appear unfounded, and even unfair to the large number of indi- viduals devoted to continuing the work and perpetuating the dis- coveries of such pioneers in any given field. Yet perhaps in no area of human endeavour is this theory so consistently verifiable as in the sphere of art. Masterpieces or supreme achievements in crea- tive, and re-creative, work act like lodestars for those aspiring to the profession of artist. All well and good if the latter are solicitous in preserving the greatest accomplishments of the geniuses among us, and in consolidating them with solid work and discoveries of their own, following the path opened up by their precursors. Not so good when they find themselves on the road of speculative half- truths, causing the unwary to stray from the true purpose of art. Such pseudo-scientific ‘discoveries’ — which are then passed on to the uninitiated — are indicative above all of an inability to discern artistic truth, and of plain incompetence. In the case of music, this means robbing listeners of sublime artistic experiences, thus im- poverishing their minds. Mendelssohn talked about this once, reminding artists that through an inappropriate, unconscientious approach to their profession, they could even become ‘killers of human minds’. We see, then, what a great burden of responsibil- ity rests on the artist’s shoulders....

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