Monday, September 27, 2004

A critic's best friend... his/her cat. Alex Ross's cat, Penelope, looks as if she could be our Solti's little sister. Apparently she helps Alex with Bartok. Solti has proved his worth on many occasions, most notably over piano recordings. He hates bangy pianists. A couple of years ago I undertook a big comparative review for International Piano Magazine of about 50 different recordings of the Chopin B minor Sonata. Solti curled up near the CD player and sat twitching his ears happily through several top choices - Lipatti, Cortot, Katchen, etc. Enter Nikita Magaloff, however, and he was out of the room in moments.

He was also up in arms (or whiskers?) when I had to do a phone interview with another conductor the other day - and this cat has developed a meow loud enough to be heard through piano and violin being played together. I had to ask Martyn Brabbins to hang on while I shut cat in kitchen so we could have some peace, and added that the cat is called Solti. 'No wonder he won't let you talk!' exclaimed my interviewee.

Paws for thought...