17 May at 7 p.m. The Argentinian pianist Nelson Gerner is honored at the end of the concert season in the Great Guild "Sinfonietta Rīga". He remembers his outdated concert in Liepaja, but Brahms' second piano concerto, which is often played throughout Europe but now plays in the big guild, says: "It is one of the biggest challenges for any pianist.
Gerner has been living with his family in Switzerland for a long time – he is a professor at Geneva College of Music, where he himself studied at Mary Tipo and won the piano competition in Geneva in 1990. A few years ago he earned the Gramophone magazine for his Beethoven album (with "Hammerklavier" sonata and bagels), many awards (including the "Diaposon d & # 39; Or" prize) for his previously recorded Chopin and Debussy albums. is also Lists: in 1986, when Gerner was 17, he won the Lista International Competition in Buenos Aires.
Two years ago, Nelson Gerner, together with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andris Pog, recorded Lista "Dance of Death" – an album released in France.
Sandra Ņedzvecka: a web-based concert where you can watch all 12 & # 39; Transcendental Etudes & # 39; plays on the open air stage and plays on stage. Are you influenced by the place you play and everything around it?
I played the list at the Laroka-Danteron Festival in France. Although the stage is in the open air, the sound is incredibly good and the audience is very knowledgeable. It was really a great experience!
Have you ever heard another pianist play all the songs in one concert?
Yes. Previously Lazar Berman and Claudio Arrau, Daniil Trifonov plays today and a number of others. However, this is a great test for the pianist. Especially when we consider this music as something bigger than etudes.
Talking about concert locations – how do they come to their memories later? Do you remember the scent, the instrument – how good or bad was it, or the people, or maybe the music you were playing there and then?
I was left in the heart where I played well. Of course I remember the quality of the instrument and the place if it was inspiring. But even if it hasn't been that way, good memories can be when I've done my very best.
Do you remember a place like Liepaja?
I remember Liepaja very well – the only place I played in Latvia during the International Festival of Piano Stars.
What would you say to those listeners, moreover, very knowledgeable, who think Lista music is empty?
When I hear it, I am unbridled – I have met this belief many times and I do not understand. Because, in my opinion, Lists is a complete resistance to the void. The creative genius and personality of the list are so complex and rich that they do not express it in one name. Maybe it makes it hard for him to understand. Because List has really exuberant music – Sonata, "Religious and poetic harmonies" and a few sketches that are truly transcendental, and it has side-by-side compositions such as "Hungarian Rapsody", which sometimes border on the vulgarity and simplicity of music. However, if it is heard by the listener, the blame must be sought by the pianist rather than the composer.
In my opinion Lista & # 39; s music should be treated with care. Without self-performance.
The element of virtuosity therein is, of course, what paraphrases about the & # 39; s themes of the opera & # 39; s and some etudes are emphasized and should not be hidden – it must be there because Lists means it. Given the amount of incredible pieces he has written, they may not all be equally valuable, but the most striking pieces from Lista are the music of the highest quality.
Thank you for your list and for Chopin, both for the Nocturne and for the pieces you composed with Franco Brigen and his "18th-century orchestra"!
Frans Brigen is one of the musicians who has strongly influenced me. First of all as a man. He was delicious. There was little, was shy, but we realized at first sight and playing with him was extremely easy. There was not much to talk about. Just concentrate on music. He was a & # 39; system & # 39; that was uninitiated – very clean in its ideals and attitude to music. There was a lot to learn from him when playing with Franco Brigen, I play "Erard" piano – on tour as well as Chopin & # 39; s piano concertos (we didn't record them), as well as Chopin & # 39; s small pieces for piano with orchestra.
Have you played the music of other composers on the old piano?
Yes – sometimes, but not often. Schubert, Schuman … Also their music on the Chopin instrument, the Pleyel piano.
Do you love the old piano and do you have time to get used to it?
I have played historical piano from time to time, but I don't have to do it at home. But this experience was very valuable to me – even when I was working with Franco Brigen, who was not dogmatic and very open to what my classical pianist has to say in music.
Lists, Beethoven, Chopin, Debis and Brahms are the composers that are important to you. Do you have enough time to give concerts to a certain composer regularly?
Now and then I try to focus my attention on a few composers. This does not mean that I am not playing the music of other composers at that time, but for example I was mainly focused on Brahms in the past year because I was preparing for a recording that took place just in March – Brahms & # 39; Third Claversons and the two Paganini variations. Before that I played many of these pieces during their concerts. Brahms The second piano concerto, which I will now play in Riga, recently played in many concerts throughout Europe. So this is my "Brahmin period". And I like such periods – when it's time to concentrate and go into the music of one composer, including listening to other genres of this composer – chamber ensembles, songs … It's much better for the composer to understand.
Your repertoire includes both Brahms piano concerts. Do you see them as two parts of a novel, are they stories that are unrelated?
They don't seem related to me. Written differently, different in nature, and a very long period of time. Brass wrote the first piano concerto at a young age, the second at the height of mastery. That is why I saw them as independent stories. One of the piano that Brahms does not use as romantic music is accepted. Brass has integrated them into the orchestra. These concerts are like symphonies. And that's great.
I read that you were happy with the recording of the Second Piano Concerto, released in Japan, but it is a ten-year-old concert. Remember it and put the first rehearsal that just happened with Normunds Schnee and Sinfonietta Riga, can you discover the first impressions?
First and foremost it is a great pleasure for me to be here, and in this, as I said, in the "Brahman period" it is a very important concert for me. We have worked fantastically with the conductor and the orchestra. I seemed to be able to express everything I intended. And it's hopeful for playback. Of course, I enjoyed the record ten years ago in Japan in many ways, but time goes on and learning is endless. If you continue with music, you can discover many new ones.
On one way
What are you waiting for, did you go to an orchestra as a concert soloist – do you find companions or will collaboration reveal something unexpected?
The unexpected element is what prevents repetition. If the conductor's opinion is similar to mine (and the composition of, like the second piano concerto by Brahms, it is very important), this strong link can be felt and I can feel everything I think of the composition – both as the concept – really materialize. If, on the other hand, you lead a conductor with a completely different view of the composition, collaboration is difficult at first, but perhaps later aspects that I have never thought about. Of course it is more pleasant to have fun if our views are comparable. Then we are on one road.
Is there a composer or piece of music that you have told "no, I will not play!"
No, I don't remember the piece that said "no". Sometimes we are reluctant. We say I don't understand, I don't feel, maybe I won't play. But it only means that you have not studied this piece. So don't say you know.
There will certainly be many listeners in your concert in Riga who have already heard you – at least in recordings or "classics". And many will have read about you. The name of Martha Argerič is always mentioned next to your written word. And its importance is undoubtedly great on your creative path. However, it is strange that it is always and everywhere emphasized, although your own performance (congratulations to the pianist on the 50th birthday of 9 May!) Of such a nature, such support is no longer needed.
For Marta Argeriča I have to remember the youth – I just studied piano, I was 17 when Marta Argeriča returned to Argentina and gave concerts. I saw him for the first time in life! Generally her scale pianist – for the first time. At the time I was playing for Argeriča and she helped me with a scholarship. It was a huge support because the scholarship allowed me to come to Europe. I have always been very impressed with her concerts and recordings. Everyone is of course already on the road and follows his own beliefs and ideals in art. However, I am very happy that we have a lifelong friendship with Martian Argerich.
Which events on your creative path have been so important that when they look back, they stand out as peaks?
I was greatly influenced by listening to the pianists' recordings. Ignokian Friedman, Rachmaninov, Hofmann and Schlebel have learned a lot from Korto. And as we approach today, from Radu Lupu, Grigory Sokolova and Shura Cherkasy. These stories have taught me since childhood. Already at that time I tried to understand why this or another pianist has the only sound that is unique to him? Who makes his game so special that it can be recognized by a few sentences, a few strokes? And it's almost impossible to make a mistake because their sound makes them known. Their voice, because the sound is the voice of the pianist. It was a revelation for me to listen to these pianists. Yes, sound is more important. Both the idea and the landscape, as well as the concept, feel as if everything comes from the sound that is generated on the keyboard. And I am very happy that all my teachers have focused on sound. Moreover, they could explain how they could help the sound of the intentions of the composers.
We are waiting for your sound on Friday during the Second Piano Concerto in Brahms.
I honestly say that playing the piano can make the music better than talking. Even if everything doesn't go the way you want during the concert. But Brass & # 39; s Second Piano Concerto (together with Rachmaninov Third, which I played when I won the Geneva Piano Competition in youth) is a concert that moves me the most.
Brahms The second has always been special to me. This is one of the biggest challenges for every pianist. The music you are looking for.