Previn

It’s been lovely to see so many people respond to death of pianist, composer and artist Andre Previn. The classical music world has coaslesced around an individual.

Nobody’s quibbling. Some are grandstanding (inevitable). But most agree: Previn was a good man.

The memory of him is prescient too. He reminds a few generations of classical music fans of the way we’d like the art form to be advocate: unapologetically, with a mix of reverence and self-deprecation, and easy on the precious.

If only those with the power and the budgets could remember that today. That’s the way to speak to people new to the art form.

For those who care, my go-to Previn is his Rachmaninov Paganini with Ashkenazy. One of the first CDs I bought after I heard the NYO play it at the Barbican in the late 80s. It is perfection. Everything else that came after pales into insignificance by comparison.

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