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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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The Repertoire and its Preparation

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It may seem difficult to believe, but there was hardly a work in the literature of the piano which Michelangeli did not know and did not play. He also followed innovations in the field with interest, though as mentioned previously, not all contemporary experiments satisfied his musical demands. From the great sea of works available, for his concerts he selected those that were particularly close to him. These consisted of works from every epoch — from the early Italian, French, and English masters, to contemporary composers.

From his concert programmes, we know that Michelangeli publicly performed the following piano concertos: Haydn — in G major and D major; Mozart — in B flat major, K. 450 and 451, in C major, K. 415, and in D minor, K. 466; Beethoven — all five concertos; Liszt — in E flat major, and the Totentanz; Schumann — in A minor; Grieg — in A minor; Rachmaninov — in G minor; Ravel — in G major. The solo works he performed included: Scarlatti’s Esercizi, and sonatas by Galuppi, Clementi, Beethoven, and Chopin. Also featured in concert recitals and gramophone recordings were: Bach’s Toccata in D minor, the Bach-Busoni Chaconne in D minor, Schumann’s Carnival Op. 9 and Carnival Pranks in Vienna Op. 26, and several of his Forest Scenes pieces, Op. 82, Liszt’s La Campanella and Polonaise in E major, two of Schubert’s sonatas, Four Ballades Op. 10 by Brahms and the Variations on a Theme of Paganini, both books of Preludes by Debussy and both sets of...

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