András Schiff's Bach just danced along without any sense of struggle
My hero is the pianist András Schiff. I met him when I was 21, when he was taking a masterclass at Prussia Cove. He would pinpoint exactly what needed changing and then either demonstrate it or sing it. He opened my eyes to the sort of rhythmic freedom you can have within the music while you’re playing in tempo. He’s particularly good at bringing out the bass-line – sometimes he’s very blatant with his left hand – and I think if you keep the bass-line in mind, it gives you the freedom to try different things. In Dvořák, for instance, you get accompaniments that are very rhythmic but also loose and natural, propelling the music along, over which the melody will sit. It’s a very physical thing. Watching Schiff play the piano, I could see how he made it look easy – his Bach just danced along without any sense of struggle, which leads to a natural feeling of freedom.
Photo: Jake Morley