...no formula for success [exists] except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings." "I accept life unconditionally. Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don't set any condition.
Never sound pompous. You always sound noble, noble. Absolute character of music is nobility. Even popular music can be noble, you see. If it's not noble, then it's not very good... Music is an art of emotion, of nobility, of dignity, of greatness, of love, of tenderness. All that must be brought out in music but never a show of pompousness.
I was born very, very lazy and I don't always practice very long. but I must say, in my defense, that it is not so good, in a musical way, to overpractice. When you do, the music seems to come out of your pocket. If you play with a feeling of 'Oh, I know this,' you play without that little drop of fresh blood that is necessary â and the audience feels it.
Yes, I am very lucky, but I have a little theory about this. I have noticed through experience and observation that providence, nature, God, or what I would call the power of creation seems to favor human beings who accept and love life unconditionally, and I am certainly one who does with all my heart.
...stories about [the German composer Johannes] Brahms's rudeness and wit amused me in particular. For instance, I loved the one about how a great wine connoisseur invited the composer to dinner. 'This is the Brahms of my cellar,' he said to his guests, producing a dust-covered bottle and pouring some into the master's glass. Brahms looked first at the color of the wine, then sniffed its bouquet, finally took a sip, and put the glass down without saying a word. 'Don't you like it?' asked the host. 'Hmm,' Brahms muttered. 'Better bring your Beethoven!'
At every concert I leave a lot to the moment. I must have the unexpected, the unforeseen. I want to risk, to dare. I want to be surprised by what comes out. I want to enjoy it more than the audience. That way the music can bloom anew. It's like making love. The act is always the same, but each time it's different.
Composing a concert is like composing a menu.... If you start with light pieces and play a 45-minute sonata after the interlude, it's like starting dinner with hors d'oeuvres and dessert and finishing with a ChÃ¢teaubriand and vegetables.