A special 4CD set of artist interviews and musical clips revealing unique insights into music and art in the words of thirteen of the most highly lauded performers of the last several decades whose artistry has been preserved by EMI Classics in its home for classical music's greatest heritage.
Imagine the opportunity of being in a room with more than a dozen of the very greatest, legendary musicians of the last 60 years and hearing each one give their inspirational insights into some of the music they have performed. Turn imagination into reality and you have EMI Classics' pioneering new 4 CD release Classical Legends in Their Own Words, in which artists of the exceptional calibre of Angela Gheorghiu, Mirella Freni, Jon Vickers, Giuseppe di Stefano, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Evgeny Kissin and Mstislav Rostropovich speak about the music they have interpreted, accompanied by extracts from some of their most acclaimed EMI recordings. Angela Gheorghiu tells us that "From the very start when I first began to prepare Carmen I was aware that everyone loves her because she is different. Even the women love her, maybe because they would like to be as she is. Although she is a Spanish gypsy, she is not vulgar she is much more sensitive. And yet she is the one who decides everything in her life, in her destiny". Mstislav Rostropovich recalls that "Shostakovich told me something I never forgot. He said 'Slava, when I want to insult a musician I would like to say to this person: my dear, you are not a real musician, you are a mezzo-fortist'. He hated it when a performance had neither very loud nor very quiet moments". And Sir John Tomlinson comments "If you speak to any actor who plays terrible, villainous roles, I think they would all say they feel a great affinity with the character. At the heart of these characters, I think, is an awful emptiness, sadness and tragedy. As Hagen (in Wagner's Götterdämmerung) says on a number of occasions, he doesn't know joy. I'm not saying that you are trying to make a nice chap out of Hagen you are not! But instead of a superficial, horrible person, you are making a very deep, introverted, sad person".
The 13 legendary artists in Classical Legends in Their Own Words are Roberto Alagna, Grace Bumbry, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Gedda, Angela Gheorghiu, Evgeny Kissin, Antonio Pappano, Ruggero Raimondi, Mstislav Rostropovich, Giuseppe di Stefano, Sir John Tomlinson and Jon Vickers. Their insights have come not only from their profound and protracted years of study and thought but also, vitally, from their exclusive context of performing the music they speak about the dimension of living and "being" the composers' creations. Their experiences have given them uniquely special depths and subtleties of understanding that are captured here in their own invaluable words together with their inspired artistry that is preserved by EMI Classics.
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