Saturday, February 25, 2006

Mitsuko Uchida

started collecting eighteenth-century porcelain in order to get a feel for the great classical composers (interviewed by Erica Jeal for the Guardian):

Apart from her pianos - three Steinway grands, plus a couple of 18th-century instruments - she has few obvious indulgences. She has a passion for English porcelain but doesn't let it gather dust. Visitors sip the finest Darjeeling, gingerly, from irreplaceable 18th-century cups. Her first piece was bought as an attempt to draw nearer to the world of the classical composers. 'I wanted to handle it day after day, to get the feel of 1758. And of course it didn't help at all!' As so often, her voice begins in a conspiratorial whisper before shooting off the scale into an exclamation, and then a bellow of laughter: Uchida talks as she plays, conscious of sound rather than self.

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