Photos of Tessa Birnie from the Schubert Piano Sonatas, CD released by ABC Classics.
I wanted everything to come from the composer through me, alone….and to do this I decided the first thing was to study music I’d never heard anybody else play, because that would at least prevent me from any form of imitation. And this is how I came to play Schubert – because the Schubert Sonatas were unknown territory. With Schnabel I had only studied the Moments Musicaux, and a set of Dances that he had collected. So I thought for two years I will just play, I will study, I won’t do any concerts, and I will take music I don’t know – and great music. And I started with the last sonatas and the Wanderer Fantasy – I started at the end, and went back! And then, at the end of that two years I was invited to give concerts in Vienna.
- Tessa Birnie
A tribute to the distinguished New Zealand pianist Tessa Birnie who died in 2008, presented by Peter Mechen.
The N.Z. Listener, 1965.