A musician as loved as he was admired, the pianist Nicholas Angelich died in Paris in April 2022 at the age of 51. He was a modest, thoughtful man who brought tremendous integrity, depth and insight to the most demanding repertoire. After his death The New York Times paid tribute
A musician as loved as he was admired, the pianist Nicholas Angelich died in Paris in April 2022 at the age of 51. He was a modest, thoughtful man who brought tremendous integrity, depth and insight to the most demanding repertoire. After his death The New York Times paid tribute to his “elegant virtuosity and expressive intimacy”, judging that his “music-making was notable both for its muscular power and for its delicacy”.
His association with Warner Classics lasted some 20 years, and the label pays tribute to him with this 7 CD collection of previously unreleased recordings of solo, chamber and concerto repertoire. Made either in the concert hall or for radio broadcast between 1999 and 2019, they range wide, including works by Bach, Bartók, Beethoven Berg, Brahms, Franck, Haydn, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Ravel, Rachmaninov and Zemlinsky. Appearing with Angelich are Martha Argerich, Quatuor Ebène, Myung-Whun Chung and the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, and Tugan Sokhiev and the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse.
Angelich expressed aspects of his musical philosophy in an interview with Seen and Heard International in 2010:
“You know, music is a living organism and not something inert, albeit it has been meticulously written down on paper … The first thing is my very own desire to play specific works I love with all my heart. That is my starting point … Art does not need a justification … It has to be something really deeply felt …
“When you play you disclose a lot about yourself. I don’t mean that you are there to show yourself off, but that your personality, your character as a musician is in the music, in the interpretation ... It is not only in the structure of form but also in the phrasing and in understanding the psychological form of the music; as well as expressing the emotions in a very sincere and true way, the intellect should also speak ...
“I think that it is important as a performing artist to be adventurous. You must experiment and challenge, one way or the other and this is what I try to do. I try to be innovative, but on my own terms and not by compromising performance standards or the music itself.”