Monday, September 28, 2009

Alicia de Larrocha - On the Passing of a Great Lady

It is so very sad to have to come to grips with the passing of Alicia de Larrocha, in Spain last Friday.
My first de Larrocha concert was in Tanglewood, when she played the wonderfully fluid K. 488 of Mozart, with the Boston Symphony.
There we were, in the Shed, awaiting the great lady; presently, a tiny wisp of a figure came out onto the stage, standing perhaps four feet and ten inches, and I suddenly realized that one of the world's foremost techniques lay in a hand that, probably, could not span much more than an octave.
My love affair with her playing began that summer night, and continues to this moment.
The articulation and the unvarnished honesty of her language, especially in her Mozart, will always be one of the more highly prioritized aspects of my memories of the great musicians I have heard.
Like so many truly prized geniuses, her humanity was always part of her incarnations. She loved the people she played for - there was always that arcane connection between her and every single person who was in the same room with her.
Some years ago (and many of you may recall) she appeared on TV with the acclaimed comedic actor Dudley Moore, who was a highly trained musician himself, and it was if they were on the same plane in the issues of music they shared - her sense of democratization was unparalleled.
Her playing of the other greats, including some of the Spanish masters, is also a reality of world import; and the pristine shaping of her language is the facet of her greatness that has always been a matter of intrigue to me.
She will be missed by many.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What year was that (Tanglewood)??
I played for her once (at Tanglewood)
What a sweet person!!

June 14, 2016 at 11:37 AM  

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