Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My dinner with Andre

A couple of weeks ago I was astonished to realize that Andre Previn, the conductor and pianist, is 80 years old. You do not think of Andre Previn as being 80.

As a matter of fact I made a note in this notebook I carry around with me, because I thought maybe I should put that on the, ahem, Web log. I wrote: "Andre Previn is 80 (!)"

I was not the only one thinking that! Today in the Wall Street Journal there is a big story by Barrymore Laurence Scherer on Andre Previn being 80 and it begins by acknowledging what a youthful image of him we all have. The story goes on to list all the celebrations going on in his honor.

You can read that story here.

Oops! Mistake! That was a gossipy story I found when I was looking for a picture and could not stop reading. Those British, they love their gossip! Here I was just looking for a picture and I wind up finding this dirt.

Here is the story from the Wall Street Journal.

Where was I? Previn's birthday celebrations. For one thing he is playing tonight at Carnegie Hall with his ex-wife Anne-Sophie Mutter and also the great cellist Lynn Harrell.

Here is a picture of Previn with Mutter.

I do not care for Anne-Sophie Mutter, I have to be honest. Her playing is too self-indulgent for me. It is as if she always goes out of her way to do something different and that distracts me from the music. She did one recording of Brahms that began to make me seasick, it was so this way and that.

But Lynn Harrell, I think he is terrific. And he was so nice to me talking to me about Leonard Pennario for my book. It makes me feel honored when I think about it, that Pennario trusted me with calling all these people he esteemed. I do know that he thought Harrell was great and loved playing with him.

Next I would like to catch up with Andre Previn. He and Pennario worked together in the early '60s. They recorded Rachmaninoff's Piano Concertos No. 1 and 4. That is the album cover up above. I always liked that picture of Pennario.

The Rachmaninoff First has the most beautiful slow movement. The opening makes me think of "Tristan and Isolde." Here it is with Andre Previn and Vladimir Ashkenazy. I will have to work with my YouTube friend Larry and get Pennario's performance up there.

Meanwhile, here is what I will do. I will give Andre Previn's birthday celebrations time to taper off, and then he will get a call from me.

We have much to discuss!


  1. OMG! Those are fighting words, as far as Stewart is concerned! Mary, I love you pieces, but you'll take his rath regarding your disdain for ASM. He'll go toe to toe with you on her, as with such passion. Goodness. I'll have to settle down knowing that he might call you to dispute.
    xox j

  2. Friday, December 6, 2013, 21:45
    A listener to classical music and an appreciator of all masters of the art of reproducing such high and heavenly gifts, which the scores of classical compositions represent, in order to make them acustically perceivable to thankful audiences:

    It is not necessary to read the whole text of the low-standard-nonsense ("My dinner with A." by Mary Kunz G.), who obvious-ly suffers so many personal deficits, that she (Kunz) or he (Ste
    wart) feels the urge to criticise highly renouned personalities, highly renouned due to their first-class capacities and perfor-mances, who have proven their personal qualities by their work

    It is moreover not difficult to understand that the writer of this most low-minded article is an egomanic person, who obviously finds it difficult to be grateful for the marvelous work musicians perform, in order to produce the sounds hidden in the scores.

    One needs not to plague oneself through these lines of narrow-minded ignorance. It is enough to spot the main emptinesses of each passage of the text, to recognise the egomanic and self-centred nature of the boring writer:
    Passage 1: "... I was astonished ...",
    2: "... I made a note ...",
    3: "... I was not the only ... (fool)",
    4: "... a gossip story I found ...",
    5: "... Where was I ...", and so on.
    Skip the nonsense and compare the last three passages:
    Passage 8: "... Next I would like to ...",
    9: "... I will have to ... (go to blases)",
    10: "... Meanwhile, here is what I ...; ... I ...".
    The ignorant person causing such hard-to-read nonsense might miss to understand, that there are people, who don´t care about such gossipers spreading the sick contents of their dis-turbed minds to a public. It needs not even a closer look at this empty talk, to recognise, that a compulsively egomanic nobo-dy vomits her or his personal shortmindedness by referring to her- or himself in every passage.
    Maybe such narrow horizon might take notice of more impor-tant topics in life, rather than to talk nonsense, while focussing only on the own umbilicus.

    If such a narrow-minded ignorant states that she or he "does not care about" a capacity like the world-famous and one of the most exemplarily active personalities, the world´s best violin virtuosa (prima inter pares), then such an impertinent gossiper might note very well, that persons of highest personal skills and matured exemplary personalities don´t really have the time or attention for such shortcommings, because their social engagements attract their full dedication.