Many claimed that his rich, weighty tone lent his interpretations a distinctive voice, some saying it sounded thick and muddy and others praising its rounded tone, saying it sounded as though Arrau were almost playing the organ or "plowing" his "paws" into the "flexible" keyboard. According to American critic Harold Schonberg, Arrau always put "a decidedly romantic piano tone in his interpretations." Although he often played with slower and more deliberate tempi from his middle age, Arrau had a reputation for being a fabulous virtuoso early in his career. According to Joseph Horowitz in his book Conversations With Arrau (1982), many critics feel his overall approach became less spontaneous and more reserved and introspective after the death of his mother, to whom he was extremely close. At the time of his death at 88 in Mürzzuschlag, Austria, Arrau was working on a compact disc recording of the complete works of Bach for keyboard, and had Haydn, Mendelssohn, Reger, Busoni and Boulez's 3rd Sonata in preparation. His remains were interred in his native city of Chillán, Chile. The Robert Schumann Society established the Arrau Medal in 1991.
It has been awarded to András Schiff, Martha Argerich and Murray Perahia. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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