venerdì 6 dicembre 2013

The international pianist MURIEL CHEMIN speaks about herself in the interview of ISTITUTO EUROPEO

Muriel Chemin
Interview by Fabrizio Ulivieri
(English version by Louisa Loring)

1) Watching you play, the first thing that strikes me is the ease at which you play. It’s incredible. How did you get to this point of ease which comes through in your performances?

First of all. I started playing the piano very early at age five and so I have practically spent my whole life with music and at the keyboard. I have to say that this ease of which you speak of, is really the result of a lot of hard, continual daily work. A magic wand doesn’t exist and commitment is just as important as musical talent.

2) A Japanese soprano told me that in moments of difficulty, you are saved by the passion that is transmitted on stage. How important is the heart in respect to the technique of a performance? Can the heart and the passion of a performance make up for lack of technique or off days?

As far as I’m concerned, hard times can be overcome with intelligence and naturally, with passion and a very strong heart when facing a fearful moment in certain pieces particularly difficult in the score. I think that all of us musicians have these fears in every piece of repertoire when we play publicly. Nothing is easy and you need to have courage and most importantly, the overwhelming desire to communicate with the people in the theater who are there for you and for the music. There is only one secret: LOVE

3) By now you are an international performer. In your opinion, what are the qualities that allow an artist or performer to play in different countries and share their music with different cultures or environments so different from one another?

To become an international artist, I would say that there are many other factors beyond talent and personal commitment such as health, strength, ability to adapt, and consciousness when you choose, Today, more than ever, unfortunately, you also need an image or idea that can arouse an interest in people beyond music. My belief was that being an artist was enough. Now, it seems that no one knows what to do to get people to notice you and to become famous at all costs. This truly saddens me because it has nothing to do with art and our goal as musicians.

4) Can an artist separate his or her public from private life? If yes, at what price?

I don’ think that it is possible for an artist to separate the private from the public because we have to deal with our emotions and all aspects of our character and of our personality that coexist inside of us. After all, music itself, unlike other art forms, penetrates within our body through the ear and thus, it never leaves us. In fact, I always have music playing in my head, even when - especially – I am not studying. It never leaves me!

5) Who are the hardest composers to play for you? Is there someone in particular who is really difficult to perform?
All composers have their own language, style and peculiarity. I personally play best from classical artists and from big form (forma sonata). In a special way. I feel ‘at home’ with Mozart and Beethoven. I find the Romanticists and the nineteenth century repertoire less immediate but obviously, I equally like them and I happily play them.

6) Is it possible to compose classical music good enough to compare with the greatest composers of the past?

It depends on what the word ‘classical’ means. It depends if we allude to, like most people, the catchy music or the big artistic movement. The famous contemporary composers who I admire are Boulez, Nono, e Ligeti. I am convinced that they will remain in musical history forever. I am sorry that I cannot mention everyone who is important and I don’t want to leave out the fantastic composers like Sciarrino, Fedele and Anichini (only in Italy).

7) In your opinion, what is the most musically advanced country?

Germany! But also the United States and United Kingdom. For how much the musicians are respected and evaluated, they truly are other worlds, other planets

8) In one of your interviews you said ‘Families prefer stadiums to theaters and for me, this is very sad considering the richness of the Italian culture.’ I found this statement fundamental and of great importance. What should be done to change this?

I believe that it would already be something to have a political class better educated and prepared in a country that is considered the hub of art in the entire world! There is too much ignorance and we have unfortunately realized a moral and cultural decline in these last 20 years. I stop here! It is not enough to make us believe in the love of music only with the seasonal opening on December 7th (it’s too easy just to show the new dress) and to not lift a finger for the rest of the year in favor of musical associations. Orchestras that shut or musicians of high rank humiliated, with little work or out of a job in conservatories! If only half was spent for art (and not only for music) that is given to soccer, there would be a jump in the quality and certainly there would much more respect and much less violence.

9) All artists have worries and fears. What is your worry or fear as an artist?

Not ever being prepared enough…or worse, not communicating anything to the people who listen. It would be so sad!

10) Plans for the future?

Always the same: broaden as much as possible a repertoire, that is, study a lot and work together with other musicians because playing in a chamber orchestra or playing all together in an orchestra are marvelous experience that continually enrich us. I love playing with others!

11) One piece of advice for an adolescent who would like to become a pianist.

You need to have a tremendous talent, an excellent teacher, study hard… and a lot of luck in your encounters!

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