Friday, March 20, 2009

Anton Kuerti - A Pianist Who Should Be Better Recognized

In my twenty seven years of college-level teaching, one of the musicians who had studied at the school I taught in, before I got there, is Anton Kuerti.
And who is Anton Kuerti, in the event the reader does not know the name?
I believe that he was born in Vienna; however, he is considered a Canadian, as he has spent much, if not most of his life, in that country, primarily as a pianist, teacher, and conductor.
While I was teaching at the school mentioned above, Kuerti came down from Canada with one of his beloved Mason and Hamlin pianos, and gave a recital in the place that, as a younger man, he had spent some years studying at.
I was overwhelmed at what I heard in this recital. He played Schubert and Beethoven, as I recall. I came to realize that I was listening to one of the most powerful minds in the world of music.
Kuerti is a musician's musician, a pianist's pianist; that is, his interpretive powers are so attuned intellectually to the composer being performed, so bound architecturally to the sounds he is producing, that his readings, in my opinion, are more directed to the more critical listener. This may very well be the reasons why this pianist is not as well-known to the world, perhaps, as the more familiar names.
He is a giant, no doubt. He is one of very few who has recorded all thirty two Beethoven Sonatas and the five Piano Concerti, along with, I believe, all of the Sonatas of Schubert.
If you are not familiar with the work of Kuerti, I do certainly recommend that you listen to some of his recordings. You will find that this man is a world-class musician.

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