Sandro Ivo Bartoli: “It all begins with an inner discovery”.

Il Giornale di Brescia, 09/08/2022

Il Giornale Di Brescia talks about the Garda Musik Week with an interview that Sandro Ivo Bartoli gave to Mr. Enrico Raggi. We thank both Mr. Raggi and the editorial desk, and publish an English translation below.

Sandro Ivo Bartoli: “It all begins with an inner discovery”. The pianist, a pupil and friend of Shura Cherkassky, will close the “Garda Musik Week” in Gargnano on the 15th. “Garda Musik Week”. Three words, in three different languages, to tell the story of the musical day which will take place in Gargnano on Monday, Ferragosto; it organised by the Municipality and the Association Il Profumo dei Limoni. Admission is free. A sonorous greetings to the day opens the event at 6.17 AM in the Church of St. Jacob, Via della Rimembranza, with a solo violin recital by Canadian artist Debra Fast: the “Capriccio per sonar a modo di lira” of Brescia-born Biagio Marini and the world premiere performance of “Aurora sul Lago di Garda” by Canadian composer Kristin Flores signal an underlying twinship between Canada and Italy. In the Sagristy of the St. Francis Church, Via Roma 47, from 11.45 AM to 7 PM there will be a violin making exibition by Fabrizio Di Pietrantonio. At 9PM, in the same Church, Sandro Ivo Bartoli will give a piano recital: J. S. Bach, «Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother BWV 992»; Beethoven «Sonata n. 17 in d minor Op. 31 no. 2 ‘the tempest’»; Liszt Prelude on «Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen S. 179» and «Aida di Verdi: danza sacra e duetto finale S. 436»; Chopin, «Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise brillante Op. 22». The pianist studied at the Florence Conservatory, at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and worked privately with the great Shura Cherkassky. Bartoli, what do you remember about him? «He changed my life. Every time I sit at the piano I think of him, I evoke him, I try to celebrate his memory. I arrived in London when I was 20, and I did not know who he was. I heard him play, and that splendid octogenarian bewitched me. I did what legions of adoring fans have done before me: I wrote him a timid letter, and three months later he replied. We become friends. Every day I would go to his little flat, and we practised on his piano, one hour each at a time. I have learned more from those informal sessions that from my entire academic training. Above all, I believe Shura revealed to me the magic of sound to levels of such dazzling beauty as to become something melancholic, something you fear is about to vanish and disappear forever: an almost mystical farewell which seems like a metaphor of our lives. When I debuted at the BBC with Respighi’s ‘Toccata’ for piano and orchestra, in 1993, I played the tape of the concert for him. He did not know the work, and listened in religious silence to the 24-minute piece. When the applause came, he said ‘Bravo, but here I did not like you’; he went stright to the piano, and played – by ear – an intricate, polyphonic passage from the second movement of the concerto with such delight, precision and sorcery that I was left speechless». What do you recommend to the new generations of pianists? «Everything begins with an inner discovery, and there it eventually returns. Many young pianists are very fierce, almost infallible, but often lack personality, charisma, the capacity of listening to themselves. We all need an example to follow, a stimulus that unleashes the need to discover our own voice, like a revelatory obsession. We need to converge our energy in one point, just like a lens gathers the light into a beam. Our asceticism should become an ascent, our life a destiny, and art our house: a chalice, a crossroad of emotions. A place full of nodes and ties». Enrico Raggi

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