Daniel Barenboim: The first concerto I ever played

The maestro has resumed his five-minute shmoozes on music that really matters.

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  • schmooze (ʃmuːz) , schmooz or schmoose
    1. (intr) to chat or gossip
    2. (tr) to chat to (someone) for the purposes of self-promotion or to gain some advantage
    a trivial conversation; chat

  • I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that the first time he played a concerto in the UK (in Bournemouth at about aged 13), he was playing a Mozart Concerto and got ‘lost’ somewhere in a long solo passage and landed in a different Mozart Concerto in the same key.

    • Not the first or last time that will have happened- or been the theme of a pianist’s nightmare!

    • I was at this concert in Bournemouth. 1955? Barenboim played a Bach concerto and Walter Piston’s Concertino. He didn’t play Mozart and I wasn’t aware of anything amiss. Mind you I was only 11 myself. Barenboim wore short trousers.

      • Interesting. I found the source and it’s a story Barennboim tells himself in an interview with the Guardian, although Barenboim doesn’t say it was his first concert in Britain – the writer adds that (and calls it a recital, which it wouldn’t have been as it was a concerto with a conductor), so perhaps that part is wrong.

  • Is Barenboim a great musician or just a very good one. He has become a sort of cult figure in England judging by his reception at the Proms but I’ve been disappointed by quite a few of his recordings.

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