The Cliburn: Encore! with James Conlon (2/6)
Plato or Aristotle – featuring gold medalist Alexander Kobrin and the Takács Quartet

James Conlon develops his typology of the musical concepts, referring this time to two Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle.

Plato’s vision of the world as a reflection of the absolute world of ideas finds its application in music interpretation with the belief that the perfect performance of a piece is immutable and exists on the page or existed in the composer’s mind. Every action is thus an attempt to get close to its essence. Aristotle had a more pragmatic vision and estimates, on the contrary that the physical sound matter comes first and determines the true nature of music. Plato in the piano gives way a more cerebral interpretation where as Aristotle allows a more spontaneous one.

In this series of programmes, James Conlon explores various aspects of playing classical music: is this about beauty or is it about truth? Is it about technique or is it about spirit? Is it about tradition or innovation? Is it more like Plato or is it more like Aristotle? Is it more like Apollo or is it more like Dionysus? And finally, are you going to be the music or are you gonna play the music? Filmed during the 12th edition of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas, these 6 programmes discuss those aspects with the finalists of the competition, and include footages of their performances on stage during the semifinals.

Hosted by:
James Conlon


Alexander Kobrin
Takács Quartet

Movie director : Andy Sommer
Collection : The Cliburn: Encore! with James Conlon

Duration : 30 min
Production date : 2005
Production : © Bel Air Media / the Van Cliburn Foundation / KERA.