In the March issue of Standpoint, out today, I reflect on the unique double role played by the last Charles Rosen, an pianist and intellectual who could – often did – pick a fight in an empty room. Which is to say, he lived and thrived on the vigorous exchange of ideas while playing the piano for connoisseurs.
Every generation has its philosopher pianist. Oddly, the combination does not seem to work with other instruments (for reasons that I touch upon in the essay). But with Charles gone, who steps up to the plate to match the job description?
Pollini? Perahia? Thibaudet? who?
I have some ideas. Read on here.