Interview with Anthony Marwood and Aleksandar Madžar – part 3

Madžar and Marwood also seem to share an unflinching capacity for self-criticism, coupled with gentle humour. Both qualities emerge further when the two discuss the repertoire for their Australian tour. Schubert’s Fantasie in C, D934, is a case in point.

‘What I love about Schubert’s music is the extraordinary ambiguity to the emotions,’ says Marwood. ‘He’s one of the few composers who can write melodies in a major key that sound incredibly sad. There is a magic in this duality. Should you smile? Should your heart break? It’s extraordinary.

‘In the Fantasie, he writes incredibly virtuosic material, and yet you just know that effect he wants is not display. It’s this radiance. You look at his music and wonder, how did he think of this?’

‘It is very difficult – almost unplayable, actually,’ says Madžar. ‘It’s one of the few pieces where you think, “What got into him?” I think it’s one of his greatest.’

After his many concert tours Down Under, as soloist, music director and chamber musician, Marwood is well known to Australian audiences. For Madžar, this will be a debut. It will also be his first encounter with the music of Musica Viva’s 2012 Featured Composer, Gordon Kerry.

‘I’m curious, in every sense,’ says Madžar. ‘The Kerry is an extremely sophisticated work. You can see it’s from somebody who really looks for substance and who has a very sensitive ear.’

Substance and sensitivity: are these essential to beauty? Marwood remembers his teacher, Sándor Végh (Hungarian, which is one of Madžar’s mother tongues) gesturing out to the Cornish sea in an attempt to describe how a phrase should be played. ‘The sea changes all the time. He would look through the window and say, “It must be like THIS!” I suppose I’m more interested in trying to get inside the language of the composer than I am in creating prettiness, or a non-specific kind of beauty,’ he reflects. ‘If everything is the same kind of beauty, it is no longer beauty. You only have to be in nature to see how diverse it is.’

Shirley Apthorp © 2011

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Welcome to Musica Viva’s International Concert Season blog. Here you can follow and read more about our wonderful touring artists.

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