The other night I traveled to Melbourne and attended an all Schubert concert by the wonderful pianist Paul Lewis. Paul is in the process of (I think) recording all of Schubert. My favorite piece in the concert was this one:
At the end of the concert I got in the line to have CD’s signed. I said something to him like: ‘Hi Paul .. I’ve got a bunch of your Beethoven, and I just wanted to ask you; what do you feel Schubert brought to the table that his Master and guru, Beethoven, hadn’t done better already?’ I then said, ‘Something has happened to me in the past year that I never thought would happen … I’ve become a Beethoven freak’ – He said, “Really!” with a bit of intensity as though he found it very interesting! (he was quite personable and lovely)
Paul answered rapidly along the lines of how very different they were and at the end said, ‘Schubert is instinctive while Beethoven is logical.’ I thanked him and we shook hands. He had a firm handshake!
Hmmmm? I’ve been pondering the instinctive/logical bit, and don’t quite get it yet!