Claudio Arrau, The Emperor

A film by Peter Rosen

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Claudio Arrau — Pianist

Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Chile

Victor Tevah — Conductor

Martin Bookspan — Interviewer

Program notes

Peter Rosen tells the story of Claudio Arrau, "The Emperor" among the pianists.

Claudio Arrau was considered the complete pianist because he went beyond mere technique, and took listeners into the mind of the composer, as if he were a medium through whom the composer was speaking. He was therefore known universally as "The Emperor."

This programme traces Arrau's life from his birth in Chile in 1903 up to his triumphant homecoming in 1984 after a seventeen-year absence, and includes his own commentary on his life and music. It concludes with a performance of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto in Santiago's Metropolitan Cathedral given before 6,000 wildly enthusiastic young people.

A closer look: composers and works

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