Artur Schnabel, No Place of Exile

A film by Matthew Mishory

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Markus Pawlik — Pianist

Dietrich Henschel — Baritone

Szymanowski Quartet

Udo Samel — Actor

Program notes

“I don't play the notes any better than other pianists. But the pauses between notes—that's where the artistry lies.” – Artur Schnabel (1882-1951). Best known for being the first performer to record the complete Beethoven’s sonatas, Schnabel was also a prolific composer of chamber and orchestral works, songs, and solo piano pieces. Fleeing Germany at the onset of Nazism, he spent time in Tremezzo, London, and the United States. The exiled Austro-German musician and composer was a giant of his time, but today he is nearly forgotten.

Pianist and Schnabel devotee Markus Pawlik (in collaboration with baritone Dietrich Henschel and the Szymanowski String Quartet) prepares to bring Artur Schnabel’s greatest compositions back in a major commemorative concert at Berlin's Musikfest. Along the way, the film visits the places, landscapes, and history that shaped and inspired Schnabel’s life and music. Lyrically and imaginatively realized by director Matthew Mishory, No Place of Exile rediscovers an essential 20th century artist displaced by the catastrophe of the two World Wars and the Holocaust and inspired by the possibilities of modernism.

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