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15 Questions to Paolo Pandolfo

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hallo, Rome, Italy.

What’s on your schedule right now?
Practising, then in a couple of days leaving to Basel where I teach.

Can you still remember the first time you heard a piece of classical music?
I must have been a baby, my mother played still the piano (then stopped). I remember me really little listening to her playing Beethoven “Mondschein Sonate”..

What was the deciding moment, which made you want to become an artist?
When around 1976, being 18y.old, I realized I was more interested into music then other things like politics (those years..)

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?

Musician, or “modern musician”..? As the hardest part of a “modern musician” is travelling all the time, not being able really fixing rooths, having problems with taking care a network of stable human relations..
and the best  is all the rest...the moment of poetry and intimacy shared with others, the little and big challenges  gradaully won or even those which are lost..

Do you consider it important that more young people care for classical music? If so, how, do you think, could this be achieved?
Yes it would be important, but can only happen if classical music comes down from the marble stage and starts being again part of daily life... of talking about our problems, and also, of helping us forgetting them every now and then... Past and new should come more together. Use the past to understand the present, and use the present to understand the past. Time is only an illusion, as we learn even from the science.

How would you rate the importance of the internet and new media for classical music?
Crucial, necessary, no other way of being present, and helps then in the public the interest for physical meeting, concerts, with the real flesh and bones artists.

With so many different recordings of a particular piece available – how do you keep yours fresh and different?
As an artist of sounds I practize silence ..and not listening. to music, but to Nature’s sounds.  And listening to music, but never (or extremely rarely) to music played on my instrument, My imagination on my instrument has to be fed with sounds coming from completely different sources, everything but a viol...

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?

Good live performance is when special emotions are shared between artist and audience.  I try to open my heart.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you? give my voice to someone else  who is not in the position of  having one otherwise.. in that moment we both need each other, and we respect each other  becaus of that.  Delicate balance of  need and respect. Some music needs to be almost recomposed, some other music  only carefully read, but we should be aware that  in no score everything is written, and to  an extent probably the “ real spirit” (what a contradiction in terms) of music is simply impossible to get written in musical notation. We must connect to it through our human understanding and sensitivitty, and therefore take risks. No risk, no good interpretation.

How do you balance the need to to put your personal emotions into the music you play and the intentions of the composer?
If I was the composer, I would be happy that people make efforts to play my music and I would need their emotions as the flesh of the music which bones are the written notes... and I would have undestanding for possible mistakes. I would still be  honoured of the try. After all, I think that music should never be written, and that once you write it, you accept the game of misunderstandings bound to the writing and reading, game that can bring germs of new and beauty..

What’s your view on the relationship between musical education and classical music?
Education in general may be seen as attempt to introduce in the growing up kids informations about the world they will have to coop with. Informations about the past should be included, as well as information about the attempts to beauties of past generations, art in general, visual and musical. We need to think that “before” (isn’t classical music, the “beauty of before..”) things where better, as we need a place in our mind that is save from the cruelty of real life. And to keep an eye on the “beauty of before”, helps us building in our mind a special space also for a “beauty of today”... and discover it all comes from the same source: love, although this may sound banal..

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
I have no competence for such a job. If I was obliged, I would need lots of friends to help me, and maybe then I would do a good job, hopefully.

How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?

Respect, admiration, humility, complicity challenge, game.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
Yes, many instruments around the tenn age: piano, violin, guitar, electric guitar and bass, double bass. Apart from the viol of course,  I did a full education on the double bass, in the period I had alredy dsicovered the viol and I was self-teaching myself in it. I had got (be said with honest lack of modesty) actually quite good at double bass, but I abandoned it (and a career which was alredy staring on it-I was in the first steps of “The Chamber Orchestra of Europe” for instance) as the attraction to the viol was much stronger.

Picture by Mitzi Meyerson

Improvisando - Paolo Pandolfo  (Glossa Platinum)
Le Sieur de St.Colombe - Pieces de Viole (Glossa)
Travel Notes (New music for the Viola da Gamba composed by Paolo Pandolfo - Glossa)
Io Canterei d’Amor - O.diLasso, T.Crequillon, Arcadelt, D.Ortiz, R.Rogniono ,A.Gabrieli, (Labirinto) V.Ruffo (Harmonia Mundi)
A Solo - P.Pandolfo,T.Hume,Corkins,DeMachy,M.Marais, J.S.Bach, C.F.Abel - solo Recital with different Authors (Glossa)
T.Hume - The Spirit of Gambo (Glossa - Labyrinto, Emma Kirkby)
J.S.Bach - The six Suites (Glossa)
M.Marais - Le Grand Ballet (Glossa)
M.Marais - Le Labyrinth et autres Histoires (Glossa)
J.S.Bach - Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and harpsicord  (Harmonia Mundi)
Forqueray - Pieces de viole  (integrale, Glossa)
C.P.E.Bach - Sonatas for Viola da Gamba (Tactus)

Paolo Pandolfo

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