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Patricia Kopatchinskaja, like a dynamite


Patricia Kopatchinskaja, like a dynamite

She does not promise a spa experience during a classical concert, but takes music to the audience as close as possible. The violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja is getting ready for her concerts with the Budapest Festival Orchestra with all her nerves, sensors and phantasy turned maximum.

The Berner Zeitung called you once “Madam 150 percent”. I like this definition – how about you?

Patricia Kopatchinskaja: Out of the endless descriptions of the journalists of “who and how I am”, I liked “Dynamitskaya“ the most. I guess, I’m not the right musician for the audience who is used to get a spa and massage experience in a classical concert.

I saw a beautiful picture of you and Iván Fischer where you were playing the solo violin part sitting (!!!) right on the stage. It seems that you want to take music to the audience as close as possible, as naturally as you can. Some also say you have taken the violin world by storm.

P. K.: I found out that Iván Fischer had written pieces for violin. So I asked him whether I may play them with him once as an encore. That’s when the photos were taken. I set down close to him, because we had to roll in the upright piano which only fit in the audience, not on stage. Yes, I want the music to go directly into the hearts and brains and souls of the listeners. No translation, I understand music in a very animal way, although the structure of a piece strikes me to the same extent.

You must have a very special connection to music and to your violin. Is it possible to describe what you feel when you play? I read an article about you in the Times by Richard Morrison last year, saying „utterly fresh in her approach, she imagined it as a surreal psychodrama without words…Kopatchinskaja proved here that she’s in a class of her own“.

P. K.: For me it's not about the violin, violin playing or violin technique. It's about music. If I can enter a piece with my whole existence, with body and soul I can also play. Mr. Morrison wrote the above remarks after listening to my Schönberg concerto in Lucerne. This is indeed a formidable piece, on first encounter it seems very abstract and constructed. But then by studying the voice part of Schönberg's absurd “Pierrot lunaire”, I began to understand that this violin concerto is also an absurd psychodrama consisting of unspoken words and gestures. Entering it this way it became quite accessible to me, and thereby also to the public.

Sibelius's Violin Concerto is told to be one of the most comfortable, but at the same time, most challenging solos in the music history for violin. How do you feel about this special piece?

P. K.: This concerto is not so comfortable, more like dangerous nature in a lonely and menacing icy landscape, with strong winds, polar night or midnight sun, maybe northern lights and erupting volcanoes.

How do you prepare for coming to Budapest, playing with the Budapest Festival Orchestra?

P. K.: I play the Sibelius concerto for over twenty years , but for the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer one has to be in top form. All my nerves, sensors and phantasy are turned on the maximum.

You can listen to Patricia Kopatchinskaja together with the Budapest Festival Orchestra on March 19&20&21, Müpa Budapest.