What is your personal history with these works? When did you first study and/or play them, and what was your initial attraction to the Impromptus, the Klavierstücke, and these two late sonatas?
Schubert has always been very close to my heart. One of the first concerts I ever attended-sitting in my mother’s lap-was Richter playing the Klavierstücke, unforgettable.
Sir András Schiff. Photo © Nicolas Brodard/ECM Records
These and the Impromptuswere part of my student years. Of course, the last sonatas came much later, they are not really for children.
When did playing fortepiano come into your life, and were you ever resistant to it? If so, what changed your mind about it?
I used to be more than resistant. In the 1970’s Hungaroton has asked me to make a recording on Beethoven’s own Broadwood fortepiano housed in the National Museum in Budapest. It wasn’t a happy experience because the instrument wasn’t in good condition. What changed my mind was Mozart’s own Walter fortepiano in Salzburg. This was like a dream. Since then I came across magnificent original instruments in perfect condition.
Are there particular ways in which your essential interpretations of these works have...