• When she was little, she would scratch the paint off the walls of her house to reach the plaster and eat it. The lack of calcium in her bones made her carry out this prank.
• Ever since she was very young, they discovered that Alicia had “absolute pitch” (very few people possess this). With her back to the piano, single and other arpeggiated notes would be played and Alicia would say the exact name of each one (even if they were sharps or flats).
• “The brain is the boss, the ear is the employee and the hand is the tool”
• “Music is to hear, not to see”
• “For me, music is my true vocation, not my profession”
• For her, her greatest “handicap” was not having small hands, but short arms. When it was necessary to cross them over, it was hard for her to reach the notes.
• De Larrocha did not like records. – “The sound from records is false. It has been retouched. The personal sound of the artist becomes lost, and without that, there is nothing”.
• “I must study” was a typical phrase of hers. She was obsessed with studying, and when she reached any city, the first thing that she would ask the person picking her up from the airport would be where was there a piano to practice on.
• The acoustics of the concert halls were of much importance for De Larrocha. She did not like to play in halls of great dimensions, but preferred to play, due to the acoustics, in smaller rooms.
• Awards would cause her anguish and restlessness. –“Awards convert music into responsibility and it ceases to be pleasure”. –“I never thought myself to be up to standard…”
• In some moments of her life she would think –“Think improperly and you will be right”. By the way, she wasn’t used to being right…
• In flights and hotels, she would take the opportunity to memorize music scores.
• She began to have a collection of napkins from restaurants and hotels, because, without realizing, she would leave with the napkin still hooked onto her waist.
• She was always complaining about hotel rooms because they aren’t design for short people: it was difficult for her to reach the clothes hangers in the closets; she couldn’t reach the shower towels, etc.
• Alicia always carried photos of her family in her bag and proudly showed them to all her friends.
• Alicia would often call her friends, to know how they were doing, wherever she was in the world.
• She liked to eat local food, not sophisticated things. She really enjoyed Japanese food (sushi, sashimi, tofu soup, etc). She also liked a good Iberic ham, bread with tomato, potato omelet, “escudella” and “carn d’olla” (typical catalan dishes), pasta soup, gooseneck barnackles, cream, “tocinillo de cielo” (a sweet flan-like dish), chocolate…
• When asked where she lived, she would always respond: -“In airplanes”
• She was so used to travel constantly that she didn’t know how to be in the same place for a week. She loved to make her suitcase!
• Alicia would always say to her children: -“While I’m alive, don’t talk about me. When I’m gone, do whatever you want to”.
• De Larrocha did not want to participate in publicity or marketing that usually surrounds artists. She was only interested in music. Sometimes she would be “forced” to give an interview, accept to broadcast a concert on television or radio or to record albums… If she accepted, was always reluctantly.
Alicia de Larrocha was one of the most important pianists of the 20th century. Her musical vocation manifested itself early when she was a child and thanks to her teacher, Frank Marshall, continuator of the school of Enrique Granados, Alicia was able to develop all her talent arriving to realize a titanic artistic career. For over seventy years, she played nearly four thousand concerts all over the world, in the most important halls and with the most prestigious orchestras and conductors.
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