Friday, September 07, 2007
I have tried and, so far, failed to find the interview I did with Pavarotti many years ago. It's perhaps as well, I don't think it was very good. His voice always gave me the impression of immense space and distance, an effect which, being musically illiterate, I cannot explain. Everybody else sounds as though they are singing, he sounds as though he is doing something quite different and better. He was, when we met, paralysingly self-conscious about his weight. He wrapped a huge silk shawl around himself when seated. The photographer, however, was determined to get the full physical scale of the man. So, outside in the garden, the two of them executed a curious dance as Pavarotti tried to hide behind the trees. It was this photographer who in a room at the Berkeley Hotel tried to talk Kirk Douglas into posing naked. Stifling laughter, I had to leave. Anyway, just to say I don't think I gave Pavarotti the interview he deserved. But I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
PS In fact, thinking about it, this is the best tribute to the man. It says everything there is to say about art.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:41 am