The Beaux Arts Trio pianist talks about getting a second chance, trios, surviving open-heart surgery and ditto Alma Mahler.

You played with the Beaux Arts trio for 54 years and recorded many, many works. Looking back over the repertoire, which pieces were the most important to you?

It’s impossible to say because at any time each piece I played was important to me. We played everything – and many things twice, as you know. We did Schubert twice, we did Schumann twice – it was always trial and error. We were never a group that would just say, “That was great.” Never! We always thought we could do better. The rehearsals were very hard, very hard – quite bloody, actually – but we tried. The fantastic part is that when I hear some of them today, I like both versions, very often. Today I see both what it was that was wonderful in the first version and also why a second version was needed.

Is there anything you would like to do again?

Of course – give me another chance. I would always say give me another chance! I have said of music that the higher you fly the more the...