French pianist Alexandre Tharaud played here in Washington last March, at a time when neither Jens nor I could attend the concert. (Tim Page wrote the review for the Post.) We regretted it, since first Jens and now I, too, have come to love Tharaud's Bach concerto disc from last year. To go with Jens's recent review, Jean-Louis Validire wrote an article (Alexandre Tharaud, le pianiste errant, April 15) for Le Figaro on some of this pianist's upcoming concerts in France. His new recording of Chopin waltzes, for Harmonia Mundi, was released in France last month.
Alexandre Tharaud is a wandering pianist. "I don't have a piano at home, which is a suffering I impose on myself; I work better in other people's homes. That's how I control my yearning to play," he explains, showing me a little box filled with keys that allows him, like a hermit crab, to let himself into the homes of generous friends who loan him their apartments and their instruments while they are away. This original method furthermore allows the musician to get used to playing "mediocre keyboards on which he is obliged to work harder to get something out of them." With the result that he is much more comfortable today on whatever pianos he is offered.This reminds me that I need to acquire Tharaud's Rameau disc, from 2002. Alexandre Tharaud played a recital of Chopin waltzes and other music on May 2, in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. In June, he will open the Nuits de Fourvière festival in Lyon with a concert of Bach, music that will accompany the equestrian spectacle by Bartabas and the Académie du spectacle équestre de Versailles.