« | Home | »

Catty Sideswipes of the Master Pianists

Tags:

From Sviatoslav Richter’s music listening notebooks, in Sviatoslav Richter: Notebooks and Conversations by Bruno Monsaingeon, translated by Stewart Spencer (2001):

Kate Klausner, Beethoven, Concerto in C major op. 15.

It was either at the opera or at a concert that we met this middle-aged and very cultured woman. She was sitting beside us in the stalls and struck up a conversation. Quite repulsive in appearance (like a witch) and eccentrically coiffed in the Spanish style. But our conversation wasn’t uninteresting and more than once she said how friendly she was with Karajan, even giving us the impression she was to appear with him on the concert platform. As a result we met her from time to time at the Salzburg Festival.

Anyway, one day she presented me with a tape of herself playing Beethoven’s 1st Concerto (accompanied by a second piano) so that I could hear her. (I’m not certain, but I think it was before a concert by Karajan.) Horror of horrors! Her playing is unspeakably awful, heavily accentuating the left hand, without the least piano nuance, but with the most incredible self-assurance and arrogance, and totally lacking in talent.

When she reaches the cadenza, the starts to reel off the notes like a woman possessed. In the second movement, a complete lack of sensitivity, but the most overbearing self-confidence. The main subject in the final movement is a total fiasco.

Moreover, the piano is recorded very close, almost directly over the strings, wheras the second is barely audible.

That’s the lady for you: a shameless strumpet.

Since then, we’ve avoided all meetings with her.

Comments on “Catty Sideswipes of the Master Pianists”

  1. semitone says:

    Bit of a snob that Richter, no? Much better to hang out with nice people, like Herr Karajan.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • ianpointon on Divided Britain: EU workers rights are not just undermined by the precarity of casualised employment, zero-hours contracts and oppressive conditions at work. Acces...
    • bluecat on Bullxit: Meanwhile, people not unaligned to the unfolding Labour leadership coup were spreading the rumour that Corbyn had voted Leave. This despite his spoken...
    • guanchonazo on Historic Failure: Well, this is certainly not the end of the world, even if it is the end of the world as we know it. If it is still too early to judge if the French Re...
    • Simon Wood on Bullxit: I read that Boris piece with jaw dropped to the floor of Tesco's in Streatham while my daughters were ice skating. The "Telegraph" had pulled out a...
    • FromArseToElbow on Slow Motion Disintegration: The parallel for Corbyn would be a principled if spiky manager who has publicly fallen out with some of his squad on occasion (let's assume the PLP ar...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement