Interview on TV7 channel (Kharkov, Ukraine, November 2007)
WJ: – Journalist (woman)
MJ: – Journalist (man)
MM: – Maria Mirovska
WJ: On Thursday, in our native Kharkov philharmonic society on Concert presentation of the new harpsichord “Marc Ducornet” it will be possible to listen to performing of Maria Mirovska. Also it can be made on Friday: in a philharmonic society there will take place concert program “Dedication to Mussorgsky”. Today Maria Mirovska, the pianist, at us on a visit. Get acquainted, good morning.
MM: Good morning.
MJ: Good morning. Join us by the phone 715-7707.
WJ: By the way, the music you can hear now is Maria Mirovska playing.
MJ: Maria, well, first of all you are Kharkov-born.
MJ: Secondly it’s not your first time arrival to Kharkov with concerts. Do you come with any new feeling each time, or this all is already settled?
MM: My feelings each time are absolutely new, and from time to time are better. When I come I’m glad to see Kharkov Philharmonic society, a remarkable Symphonic Academic orchestra under baton of maestro Yuri Yanko. This orchestra every season gets some new colors is its sounding. Also that else me amazes is that every year is much given (from city authorities and the governor of the Kharkov area) attention to classical music. It is amazing.. In fact in the Philharmonic society new musical instruments are bought, much is done that the Philharmonic society works, and works perfectly and that musicians have revealed themselves completely. Not very long ago the harpsichord (on which the day after tomorrow there will be a concert) has just been got. Therefore I can tell, that my feelings very joyful.
WJ: Do you have a wide experience of playing the harpsichord?
MM: You know, my experience in this instrument isn’t very wide, because piano is my main instrument. But on a harpsichord I have to play from time to time, and this keyboard instrument (as they call it, the grandfather or the great-grandfather of a grand piano) itself is very interesting. The principle of sound making is absolutely different because on a grand piano the sound is taken by hammer touching a string, and in harpsichord a plectrum touches a string by a pinch. It is very interesting, the result is different: both in quality, and character of a sound. And it’s more to me to play now in the Kharkov philharmonic society not only on a grand piano, but also on a harpsichord. It is remarkable, it seems to me.
MJ: Will you perform Bach on a harpsichord?
MM: Yes, I’ll play J.S. Bach and also music of ancient authors – composers of pre-Bach time, and later epochs. It will be also Mozart; modern music on a harpsichord will sound also. There will be a lot of soloists on this harpsichord presentation except me. I send my best greetings to my colleagues. Tatyana Verkina, Vladimir Solyanikov and others among will be present. Also various choruses of Kharkov and certainly, a remarkable Academic Symphonic orchestra of the Kharkov philharmonic society.
MJ: Did you have already managed to try to hear a sound of a new harpsichord?
WJ: Tell us please, how you found it.
MM: I’m delighted. It gives a possibility to adjust a sound differently, to play with or without octave doubling. I like sound colors the harpsichord gives. Therefore I consider that it is the good choice made by the Kharkov philharmonic society to purchase this instrument. This gives an opportunity to play early clavier repertoire. The piano in a modern kind has appeared closer to XX century. The big concert grand piano which we can now listen in concert halls has appeared already in XX century. Earlier the piano sound was less sonorous, and before grand piano there was a harpsichord, and certainly it is interesting to see a retrospective of keyboard instruments.
WJ: How much time do you need to become friends with the musical instrument, to get used to it, to understand it?
MM: Differently. Each time for me it’s a good opportunity to try on any new clavier.
MJ: In different cities …
MM: Yes, in different cities, or in different halls in the same city. It’s always - an intrigue, it is always amazing, because I learn some new things each time. The new piano teaches you a lot. It’s an interactive situation. Generally it depends on the clavier. I hope, that the harpsichord will allow me to play what I want and will not become angry.
MJ: For many people of Soviet Union the first musical instrument was piano “Ukraine”. And as for you, what was your first piano?
MM: I was very lucky. My mother has put enormous efforts and has made possible for me to play on “Bluethner”. The piano was remarkable. The beauty of sound it gave, have remained in my ears for life. It was a good piano.
WJ: By the way, today there are many electronic claviers. Many musicians use computer arrangements. What is your attitude to this tradition? Whether it is possible to create a true sound by using of electronic sound simulator?
MM: You know it is possible to get close to a true sound of an acoustic musical instrument. Every year they make synthesizers which are getting closer to natural sounding more and more. Sound samples used in it are taken from a sound of a natural grand piano. It is not output by “chemical” way, it’s taken from an acoustic grand piano, and then samples of the natural sound are entered in memory of a computer. Famous Japanese Roland Corporation entered in each electronic grand piano key up to 100 versions of one sound and has achieved remarkable results. This allows doing many things and providing many piano colors. Actually I consider that for home practicing it is the best decision to use an electric grand piano such as Roland, for instance. The acoustic grand piano, its mechanical part is got very much worn out from practicing. For home playing an electronic grand piano: why not? I take a positive view to it in any case. How we concern all to the Internet? It becomes something inevitable to what we have to get used and to find some useful things.
WJ: So, the classical musician does not deny the technical progress?
MM: No, of course not. Moreover, we depend on this progress. There are some concerts halls it which there is no opportunity to hold the acoustic piano all concert year long because of, for instance climatic reasons, a good electronic grand piano which can be brought for the period of a concert and taken away after – is a good alternative.
WJ: Did you play an electronic grand piano?
MM: I did.
WJ: Maria, I have a question: what are the aims to which a professional, career-made pianist aspires? He’s not interested in different contests already. Maybe, the velocity of playing and difficulty of the performing compositions?
MM: It is necessary to raise the difficulty level. But the pianist aspires not only to complexity. Preferences vary from time to time what would be desirable to play. Piano repertoire is so large that neither I nor my piano colleagues suffer from lack of it. Many compositions I would love to perform. In XX century there was a lot of remarkable music. Recently I had a recital performing piano compositions the Czech composer Boguslav Martinu, rarely played in Moscow. Every year you open for yourself something new, and we always have some new horizons to aspire. It’s a lot of work. We (pianists) study all our life, our profession is those.
WJ: Your husband, Arseny Uyukin, - the composer, and you have even performed his works.
MM: Yes, he wrote a Concert piece for a piano with an orchestra. My husband is an oboist as well as a composer. He’s a versatile personality.
WJ: And your daughter already starts to play piano?
MM: She studies step by step …
WJ: Will there appear once a trio?
MM: I hope for it. I would like very much, because musical and everyday communication makes a romantic mixture.
WJ: There is a question of TV viewer. Let's listen. Good morning!
MM: Good morning!
TV viewer: Hallo, Maria! Can you hear me?
WJ: Yes, we are listening.
TV viewer: I would like to ask you where we can listen to your playing in Kharkov. You speak well; it would be desirable to listen to you as you play.
MM: Thanks for a question. It will be possible on November, 8th in a Concert hall of Kharkov philharmonic society: there will be a presentation of the new harpsichord which just has arrived to Kharkov. And on November, 9th there will be a concert “Dedication to Mussorgsky” where two outstanding vocal cycles of Mussorgsky will be performed: “Sunless” and “Songs and dancing of death”. Soloist — a brilliant soprano Marina Chizhenko. Some of Mussorgsky’s solo piano works also in program. I invite you.
MJ: Maria, they say, that you even sometimes read lectures. For example, it was in case of Rossini program.
WJ: What is it for to you?
MM: It wasn’t a lecture. The concert format is different. I personally prefer a format of a classical piano recital: 2 parts, the program incorporated by one idea, not just occasional set of pieces, and a certain performance. Sometimes at concerts it is necessary to talk to audience (as for me I’m not so fond of talking during the concert).
MJ: To prepare public for something?
MM: Yes, sometimes people come who aspire to learn more about classical music. But not always a musicologist or the compere is present who can say a few words about the performing program. Sometimes (in chamber concert halls or in house concerts) audience asks to tell about the pieces. In the concert about you have asked, I had to perform works of Tchaikovsky, Liszt and other composers, and then there was chamber music part with famous French hornist Gleb Karpushkin, the soloist State symphony orchestra “Novaya Rossia”. Listeners became very much interested for Rossini’s piece we were playing: Introduction and Theme and variations. It was necessary to tell about this composition a little. The lecture was improvised without claims for depth of musicological knowledge. If listeners would like to hear about executed compositions, me and my colleagues would tell with pleasure about.
MJ: And if suddenly at a concert where you will perform Mussorgsky, someone will ask: “Tell something about Mussorgsky”?
MM: Perhaps I will, but only after the concert, because the given concert goes as whole performance, it cannot be interrupted. After it we’ll answer with pleasure questions if they will arise. I think, Marina Chizhenko will support me in it, she has the things to tell.
WJ: Dear Kharkovites, if any questions will appear, Maria Mirovska will answer.
MJ: After a concert!
WJ: As she answered today to our questions. We had Maria Mirovska, the pianist who has arrived to us from Moscow. On Thursday and Friday the Kharkov Philharmonic society waits for you!