Sit opposite each other, SecureWeb. Bashmet come from the world where he was surrounded by Richter, Schnittke, Rostropovich. Challenging, different, strange. Surrounded on what you’ve done. Therefore, through it you can look into the essence of things — awards and titles have no meaning, especially today, Paphos reset; happened you took it to your Wanderers, your actors, your “poor in spirit”. And that sadness it inspired many composers to write his immortal themes for viola (Schnittke, Kancheli etc.), is this good sadness, audible and before, after, and during the performance. The name can afford to buy. The sadness won’t buy ever. It comes from purity.
photo: Lily Sharlovskoe
“Freedom requires a higher taste”
— To talk about the anniversary? I think it’s important to remember about mom… life could have turned out differently.
— Here we remember the words of the great teacher Pyotr Stolyarsky — “I do not need talented children, and need…
— ...talented mom.”
Exactly. My mother was a classic living example of this statement. And childhood was completely normal.
— Not that “sit in front of the instrument and your mind go”.
— No. On the contrary. Said — “Enough to do, get on your bike, you get hungry. Eat and exercise again”. She did in fencing gave to the swords, jumping into the water a little bit involved, water Polo… Grew up a normal boy. Penknives metal. Here came the Western “the Magnificent seven”. Then we have the whole yard organized competitions. And I was the champion of knife throwing overhand, not from above but from below. As an actor in the film. We have these knives in stores not sold, and it cost 1 RUB. 20 COP. That’s a lot. The ice cream was worth 11 cents. Meat pie — 4 cents.
— It was convenient to throw it hard?
— The fact of the matter is, there was no weighting of the blade. The professional knives there is, and no matter how they spun in the air, the result is always diminished due to the weight. And pocket no. We asked passers-by to buy us, gave them money. And when the old film there were “the Three Musketeers”, started fencing. Actually mother always tried to find me something, I got carried away. Let’s say, a little drawing… And then a few times in my life, the inspiration came, that the plane was drawing on napkins. Oh, there were many things I did not and will not do. For example, played on the piano the Second concert of Brahms or Rachmaninoff Second.
— Did you want to?
— Oh, Yes. We have the same piano was mandatory, and teachers say — “Yura, well, don’t drop the piano, you have to play!”. But no. Even dreamed of, but never went into serious jazz. Yes, jazz is serious. In jazz the main thing is not scholarship, and fly away…
— The state of freedom. But with this sense of freedom, and this is probably a General law not only in jazz, but in life, you may find that a person lacks taste. Very good example: man playing classical violin Concerto, and there comes a time of jazz, the violinist and the episode starts playing in the restaurant in a bad way. Bold, with all sorts of glissando. Thinks — “Oh, time is music, then I’m free.” But freedom demands the highest taste. Was this jazz pianist was Michelle Petrucciani, he lacked fingers. Keyboard highly, he sat down on the chair higher. But every note he has on its weight in gold… And now I regret not doing, but, by the way, maybe even not later.
— Back to parents… Mother worked somewhere?
— Yes, in the Lviv Conservatory in the education part. Was the schedule. So with all the professors were personally acquainted, they adored her. And when I later studied and worked in Moscow, my mom demanded me information — where the food, play with whom. Because she herself asked. Go into the educational part — “where Yura? What is he doing now?”. It is, for example, regularly asked me: “have you Written any you Alfred viola Concerto or not?”.
Yes. Because for a long time did not write. Eight years.
— Then her mother died. Father was left alone…
Alas. From our house in Lviv Philharmonic to go two minutes, and the Conservatory — two. And now, after mom died, dad was given free honorary tickets to the Symphony. And he really went. And then told me in detail; sometimes it was not so interesting. Because some accordionist he listened. Wanted to share my impressions. And so it turned out often called at some point when I’m very busy. And he alone lived wanted to talk. And one day we sat at the dacha at Nikolina Gora, visiting me was Nikita Mikhalkov. The table is ready. Vanity. We Dozhivem kebabs. Sat down, poured a few drinks. And in this moment daddy. Such a lucky star to me. “Oh, Yes, listen, Oh, well, let me call you back, and then there are guests…”. Still, he begins to tell Nikita calls to the table, and I can’t cut, listen. Nikita says, “Give me the phone”. I gave. Nikita — father: “Well, Abram Miller, boring now, huh? Retired? And I have an idea. Here you gather the material and write a book about his own son. And it will not be boring, and the use of big.”
photo: Lily Sharlovskoe
— To my shame have not seen this book…
— She appeared simultaneously with my book “Station of dreams”, but the number of copies of dad’s was somewhere just over 300 copies. It is my friends — Demyanenko, Roma Balashova. Father in Lviv from the shop tinkled, when the book was over, and he was carrying ten copies. So and disappeared. Very interesting, by the way: there is a serious analysis of Lviv as a cultural center, because at that time — this is not Poland, not Austria, not Germany, not Ukraine. Amazing place. Relatives there Mozart taught…
“Schnittke’s eight years did not write, to quarrels reached”
Well, as the concert Schnittke came to light? This is the clearest milestone in your life…
— It was so. I returned to Moscow in 1976 after winning the competition in Munich. And relaxed. That is just sick. Lay for ten days in maturation. Award bought great equipment and a lot of records. Moreover, more jazz than classical… Here he lay, listened, slept. Clear sore throat. And it was not even his apartment. I have saved a friend of violist — has given one room, and in the next her grandmother lived. And at this point I get a call Gidon Kremer (was a little familiar with it even in Lviv). Congratulated with the victory. And invited to participate in the premiere of the piano quintet Schnittke, more precisely, in the record of this work. I was very happy.
— Patients go?
— Worried: for ten days was not holding the tool. Came. Long rehearsed. Alfred was present. Gidon about something consulted with him. And I’m at the end left absolutely dumbfounded by the fact that I do not understand.
— Did not understand Schnittke?
Yeah, so many hours of rehearsal, and I… what is this music? No, I certainly knew — that “Schnittke, Schnittke!”, I have it. Just student awareness. But I didn’t know what kind of music he composes. He only knew that Schnittke’s why it is considered anti-Soviet. He, Gubaidulina and Denisov. Although they are quite different. And that came back into the room, went to bed late, and woke up in the morning already in love with his music. It was cool inside. We recorded the quintet, but he did not come to light, because soon Gidon stayed in Europe. Because of this, the record went.
— Of course. The record was released only after twelve years. But it was such a beautiful tradition that when executed Premier Soviet composer, the composer at the restaurant treated everyone to dinner, a drink. And Alfred called us after the recording of the quintet. Sitting at the table, I pulled myself together and said to Schnittke that, “a lot of touring now, and would very much like to write the Concerto for viola.” “With great joy,” he said. And then we came to quarrels. Well, a year has passed. Two. Then three. And no concert. “Why?”. He once said: “If I promised — will do. But very busy. For the next two years painted everything. Do not have time”. The meaning is — “leave me alone”. I and they stopped asking. And suddenly I get a call Irina Schnittke: “I Want you to tell the good news: he started it!”. It has been eight years. And I immediately asked — how long must I wait?
— Well, Yes, eight?
— Ira replied, “Once I started, so the whole idea is ripe, therefore, — a month maximum”. Something like this happened. Schnittke excited, energetic, in a good mood came to me. And our relationship all this time, I believe, was really friendly, because he went to my concerts. Was almost always in the hall. And I think that pushed him to write just our performance with Richter, we played a Sonata of Shostakovich in some club or school. This apparently was the last straw, and two days later, Ira and I called… In the end the concert Schnittke received with enthusiasm in all countries of the world.
— I’m in your performance listened to it a dozen times. But honestly — what he was the first impression?
— I was waiting for him… a feeling of incredible importance. This is more than music. This is a confession. As Sonata of Shostakovich. As The Sixth Of Tchaikovsky. It’s something more than just a masterpiece. Confession — Yes, that word fits. Although the concert Schnittke delicious and the instrumental point of view. Physiologically. Enjoy playing. There are a lot of different States. And different colors are required. Such a map is before you… In all that time as his play was not boring, never. And what’s funny, I interviewed Alfred for his program “Station of dreams”. At his house. And he said, “can You at my concert to do what you want: here it is written piano, can you play forte. I’ll allow it. And one more person so authorize”. — “Who?”. — “Violinist Gidon Kremer. You both do not change the main point”. But how many years have passed, and I’m getting closer and closer to the authentic notation.
— Although initially they were uncomfortable?
— Well, Yes. For instance, at the beginning of the Concerto was the piano or even pianissimo. But so quietly to start playing, it is necessary that in the hall was formed just vacuum silence. And it’s hard. So I started out objectively — just as a clear beginning. As a similar example: Richter played this Sonata by Shostakovich, and we’ve had quite a long pause before beginning. The hall has started to get nervous. And we sit…
photo: Natalia Muslinkina
“Sometimes I was tired from a long dialogue with the Richter”
— Tikhon Nikolayevich started the festival, which are necessarily performed new works as the most Khrennikov and other authors. And many famous musicians have been through his music in the name of career. I will never forget how brilliantly played Eugene Kissin his piano Concerto. The same Valery Gergiev conducted his music. I once was in the office of Tikhon Nikolaevich was a big problem with housing and with residence in Moscow. Vicious circle: there is no registration — no work, no work — no registration. After I was accepted, a large head, my heart pounding. And while we talked, he gave the order to his assistant to write a letter on my behalf, and put the resolution on the receiving housing. And now I’m leaving it at the door I suddenly stop, said: “One viola player tries to play my cello Concerto”. I have again, everything rattled inside, I thought, well time it I signed the paper — then will be forced to play your concert. But I said, “I know the works of the great composers sound better in the original than in translation”.
An written for cello, and it is necessary to play the cello. Save.
— Yes, he immediately patted me on the shoulder — “I knew you were a smart guy. Okay. Bye!”. And much later we met sometimes in different places. He wanted an Alto for me to write a Concerto. I was reminded — “You didn’t?”. “Now come home and begin,” answered. Has not started. Died. I have about him vividly. And I didn’t use his letter on the housing, then just began to build the cooperative building of the Bolshoi theatre…
I remember Xenia, the daughter, told how she grew, in fact, on the lap of the Richter scale… how you perceived it?
— If the end to go, he had a terrific partner in chamber music. It’s such a locator is: I will do something on stage — and he instantly picked up the idea. And then continue to offer their… of Course, he went down in history as a Titan, smashed pianos, I don’t know, won, what is his role of Franz Liszt in the film “Composer Glinka.” What acterise. But for me it was a some kind of remote again.
— But first.
Initially, yeah. I at that time had just obtained the status of soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic society that the violist was very important, this simply was not. And here I was asked to speak at a memorial service for the Adjuster Bogino in the foyer of the Great hall. I played, stepped aside, standing behind a pillar, and suddenly behind Richter: praised me — “Call the Nina Lvovna tonight.” I called, and I — “Yura, take the clavier sonatas of Shostakovich and come.”
And as the first rehearsal with the Richter scale?
— And nothing at first could not. Well, wasn’t working perfectly. The sound was in place. I even have the impression that maybe it’s in a good way such provocation on his part. I was incredibly anxious, of course. And when thirty minutes passed in this disgrace, he sharply turned to me: “Yura, you played this piece? Say something. I’ve never played”. — “So it’s Sonata — answer — we are the party”. “No,” he says, “you — soloist”. — “Well, what a soloist. And you — Richter”. — “Remember, Yura, who is a soloist. So, you have to say.” And after that, we became something to happen- the pace changed, I tried it this way and that…
— And his self-fulfillment?
He never stood in one place. The only thing I’m not convinced is a prelude of Chopin. But again- it’s been years, I had in Sochi on the anniversary Rosenbaum to play the prelude in e minor for viola, and for some reason I remembered as did Richter — just what I didn’t like. And I realized suddenly that he was right…
But at some point he opened up with you, there was no barrier?
— No, it was not. But still always had to be careful and concentrated. I remember that sometimes I was very tired from a long communication with him. Just a shame it was. It turned out that he is much better me knows the texts of operas and music, hundreds of times better than me knows the movie… by the way, ten days before his death, we somehow were talking about the movie, and he said — “Well, after all, the movie is bad art.”
— You met in Moscow?
— Yes, it came from France, he already was weak. A few years did not play. But said — “I was forced to work again. Two women. One dentist, the other — Irina Antonova. The doctor said that I hurt, if I start to play the instrument…”. And he taught Schubert’s Sonata.
Even on his deathbed?
Yes. Says — “my Back hurts, my hands forgot how to do it, it’s hard, but I yesterday for two hours work out, and today too.” This was our last meeting. Random. I didn’t even know he was in Moscow, we somehow got lost. A few years no see. We were looking for money for his treatment. He had no Western insurance. He lived about 2-3 hours away from Paris. And medicine, hospitals — it’s terrible how much cost everything! He has not performed, savings, understand, was not. I played pool with a friend of mine, straight with tears he said — well, what to do? And already someone thought that Richter and alive-no. And we for 25 000 dollars lost, it was huge money for us. Sent to France. Then another 20 000 got, then about a hundred thousand thanks to Chernomyrdin…
He extended the life?
— I think so. Significantly. And here our last meeting in Moscow. The next day I flew to Italy for ten days, went to him, and he was asked to travel around the County, churches. But he’s not out of the car. I drove up, he looked out the window. I watched five or ten minutes. There are very beautiful places around the Scissors, on the banks of the river…
I just wanted to be quiet?
Yes. And in some point in the car somehow about the movie were talking. For once, being with him in Munich, we have three films a day to see if it was not a concert… And here he is, apparently, on someone’s Board watched a movie, and this led him to the idea that “movie — bad art.” And then I arrived in Moscow ten days later, sat in VIP-e, expecting bags and suddenly announced on the loudspeaker — “Flown the citizen so-and-so (me), you are asked to come on the Small Bronnoy”. I immediately all became clear. He Bronnaya lived in the same house where Nikulin, Armor.
photo: Lily Sharlovskoe
— When they’re gone — Schnittke, Richter appeared emptiness? Or what they gave you, stays with you constantly?
— Stay with me, of course. Suddenly pop up by themselves, some skits, maybe associated with town or with music. Time — and suddenly, before eyes there is an episode that never remembered. So I look at it as for eternity. And what an incredible prikolisti was Rostropovich! Such tricks worked… a book you can write. Even first meeting him is significant, when I came as a freshman at the Moscow Conservatory. And was useless. Really felt it, because Lviv was all necessary and in connection with the viola, and guitar. And I, as a freshman, decided brazenly to say Hello to all great.
And here is Rostropovich?
— He didn’t just go. That he will come to the Conservatory, became known long before his physical appearance. On the second floor started this buzz of voices. Nerve. Now, if the mechanical pump to pump, this is the first movement gave the air… I’ve been thinking how this happened. Maybe because Rostropovich was perfume French (this was rare), delicious smell, and they were ahead of his appearance. I walked over, introduced myself. And he played up to me: “Oh, friend!”. Hugged and dragged him to his class, and there are a lot of people, there are no seats. 30-40 people. He immediately asked for me to bring a chair. Well, then send him a lesson — it’s a show… that’s some creative thinking! But… did not give his disciples to play a single note without meaning, senseless. Could reach even to insults from him, if the man did not Wake up. To tears could bring. And in Borisov, my teacher, at once gave the girl back, she has the sparks flew… wanted to awaken.
— Are you satisfied with your daughter? Xenia — she is a superb pianist…
Once the pianist Lev Naumov (he Xenia has had time to learn) asked me — “why don’t you invite Ksenia concerts? You can take her as a soloist.” And I was embarrassed. Because a lot of examples, when you listen to children of famous parents, and is not alone. When they perform together, it becomes a shame for a colleague. Drags her child… And that’s Ksenia to take shy. And overexposed. It was necessary before to bring in the light. You see, when a small child is cute. And when she’s not five and not seven, you need to take something else. And so it was. This is inexcusable on my part. Already not catch up. In recent years, of course, we often play together. With it so easy to conduct, by the way. Go complex rhythmic stuff, and everything in its place!
And you are easy to conduct?
— So can say with Valery Gergiev (although now out of employment, we with him much less speak) I play better than I play.
— Good phrase.
— Yes, think — that played well, and then is Valera for remote control — and it turns out even better. We have one entry there from Salzburg — I’m not a very high quality play there, but to take away.
— Again, a cool phrase. Not high quality, but take away.
Richter gave a concert somewhere in Europe, he too is on record. Playing Sheet, he several times hit something, not the notes, but it’s just swinging. As I teacher, Borisov said — “we need to fake the notes to be treated: like a little Sparrow flew in, pooped on shoulder hit, but immediately flew on”, that is, you have to throw it out of your head not to hit. Why error occur? Sometimes, in my head haunting sounds, some music, a month does not let go. Remember, I lived for several years the third part of the Third Symphony by Brahms. And now, no matter how banal, sick Moonlight Sonata Beethoven.
You a lot of people have devoted their viola concerts, many of them have not played?
— Living composers — two for sure… for some reason they were not in the focus of attention. But during this time played a lot of new concertos written later. And here at the festival in Sochi play the world premiere of the Concerto for viola and orchestra Valery Voronov. However, music has never seen. Maybe today will bring. He is a very interesting guy. Interesting thoughts. But last year we also had the Prime Minister Kuzma Bodrov. And curious about then works. Sochi becomes a kind of laboratory. In Sochi concert Bodrov I played almost from the worksheet. But something there is not enough to want to play again. Well, Schnittke or “Styx” Kancheli. And I got the idea. Bodrov said that the concert was necessary, first, to reduce to water was less, and, secondly, to allocate oasis — the purpose of all this. Arises. “And you say Bodrov, — don’t even have to strain. Take from “the Little Prince” is his music. There is solo, in my opinion, “Tears” is called. The violin plays. Here, take this, in an Alto key translate and paste”.
photo: Lily Sharlovskoe
Artist Alice Bartov.
— Shostakovich and Schnittke, too, there is borrowing his own material…
— Of course. So he did, and I recently played it a second time in Kazan. Now that’s a good concert. But that’s not all. It needs to solve the end. Because we inserted a new piece, and now it is still the ending does not work. In Sochi I just walked away from the scene, more and more slowly continuing on one note. And in Kazan it was necessary to do as well, but later think about it. To get the innuendo. In this sense, I envy violinists and pianists whose concert ends fast and loud. Everything is clear. And once the applause. And I have the best works in the final dissolved — and Berlioz, and Schnittke, and Shostakovich Sonata. And so ends “the river Styx” by Kancheli, but it is specifically for me after dissolution and hiss viola was credited with one note for orchestra in fortissimo: “You told me loud!”
— I think now you have the same lab and with Voronov…
— We’ll see.