It seems that everything that “one” has to say has been said about an artist like Vladimir Ashkenazy, yet some questions will always remain unanswered. But what is there to say about someone about whom everything seems to have been said? Maybe that he prefers a simple Viennese “Beisl” to a five star restaurant. Maybe that he prefers to be picked up from the airport by a friend with a normal car than by a limousine service. Maybe that he has been married to the same woman for a number of decades and that he seems to adore her today as much as he did on their wedding day.
The great Vladimir Ashkenazy owns an iPhone, mainly to manually dial the number of his wife, who is also Dimitri Ashkenazy’s mother. He seems to be blissfully unaware of the endless possibilities of the device with the one round button, but he certainly knows what to do with another device – the one with 88 black and white buttons. Seeing and hearing him operating that device, one realizes HOW great the great Vladimir Ashkenazy is. In German, “Größe” means both greatness and tallness, and it is commonly known that one has nothing to do with the other. In Ashkenazy’s particular case, the opposites are combined to perfection.
If one were to look for biographical details of Vladimir Ashkenazy, it is easiest to just type his name into Google. He remains to be one of the most eminent musicians of the 20th (and beginning 21st) century and is also a very special human being. We, all paladinos, are proud that he has entrusted us with his “birthday recording” with his son Dimitri and wish him, the unique artist and person, all the very best.