A subjective history of the piano from the late pianist, complete with spontaneity and delightful digressions.

For the re-release of all his EMI recordings, Aldo Ciccolini kindly agreed to say a few words about the composers with whom he has maintained especially close links. With his sharp esthetic sense which, like André Gide, he views as subservient to moral considerations, Aldo Ciccolini gives his subjective history of the piano with complete spontaneity and delightful digressions.

Bach and the harpsichord
I studied the harpsichord with a pupil of Wanda Landowska’s who knew Bach inside out and opened up a whole world (Rameau, Couperin) I did not know at all. The richness of the musical language impressed me, even though I have recorded very little of this music. I have played very little Bach in my life. The sound of the piano does not seem to me to suit the Well-Tempered Keyboard , while the Chromatic Fantasy fits it very well. As a general rule, I don’t think one should play Bach staccato. Some of the preludes call for...