Back to
Back to Nyiregyházi Top (Japanese version)
Back to Nyiregyházi Top (English version)

Also sprach Nyiregyházi

(C) Yoshimasa Hatano(Photo)

These extracts are from interviews made during Nyiregyházi's visits in Japan. These are all translated from Japanese articles. I don't have the original English words.

Silent period

I had a lot of troubles with my manger. I had to play under circumstances where I could not control my own programs and other situations (1).

It is true that I had troubles with my manger in NY. And it is also problematic that I could not handle my concerts in my own way. I needed complete freedom, in order to do my performances sucessfully, but I couldn't have it. For me, freedom is what I want to achieve through my expression. In my own life, I have lived as I liked. But there were too many restrictions to do concert performances (3).

I just wanted to protect my freedom. But I couldn't do it in my music. However, I believe that I have protected at least my freedom in my life (3).

I was dissapointed at how concerts were handled then (3).

(Asked if he has slept in subway stations) It is exagerated. Yes, there were a few times that I did that ......... but it was only for a few days during 1925. It wasn't that bad (3).


I dislike playing piano for others. Somtimes I do play for them. But I like playing it for myself. I would do it because I like it. I wouldn't do it if I don't feel like doing it. It would be a problem for me if I must perform under circumstances that force me to play (1).

Practice isn't important for me, because my performance is driven by my feeling and emotion (2).

I don't own a piano now. I don't need it, because I can always hear it. Even though there are no keys around me, I can feel them through my fingers and hands (3).

When I play other's works, I sometimes play "fast" tunes. But I like "slow" tunes emotionally and chatacteristically. I like deep, dark, and tragic works. Those kinds of works would fit with my nature. I wouldn't force others to like those, as they should have freedom as well as I do(3).

The most important thing for me is to express my feeling and emotion. I want to express what I feel about human life through my music. ---------I try to concentrate as much as I can, and then express as realistically as possible(3).

I try to follow the composer's spirit as close as possible(3).

I tend to apply thick sonority to base notes. This approach would be suitable to expresse the dark and tragic emotion that I feel for human life(3).

Compositions and Critics

I am not going to publish my compositions becuase I believe pianists and critics wouldn't understand them and even criticize them. They would reject them not because my works are bad, but because my compositions are written in an old-fashoned 19th century style. I won't perform them in front of that kind of people (1).

I don't think professional musicians and critics would like my compositons(3).

Critics are different from the general public...........They try to control the public and give wrong direction (3).

Composers and performers

I want to be close to Liszt's spirit. I think we have a lot in common (1).

I like Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Grieg......but I can't think of all the names (2).

I feel associated with composers in the 19th century such as Liszt, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner. I don't like the music of the 20th century (2).

I am interested in Paderewski and Busoni. I actually heard their performance when they were alive. I also like Horowitz (2).

I really love Liszt. I like his idealism and his love of freedom. He believed in freedom enthusiastically. He pursued spiritual values as I do (3).


I am not against doing recordings (1).

(Being asked about recordings in Takasaki) I really want them to publish it. I also have recording contracts with another company. But I don't know what's ongoing and what to do about it. I sent a letter to them, but I haven't gotten any response from them............... I hope my records will come out (1).

Non-music issues

I don't like the modern society (1).

I did my best so far, although I am not satisfied. You could say I could have lived my life in a better way. But I did all I could (3).

The music bussiness prevents the general public from experiencing music properly. I believe they affect audiences badly. I am pessimistic about what's going on. I don't know what will happen in the future, but the current situation is terrible (3).

(C) Yoshimasa Hatano


I think the Japanese people accept what I want to express in a nice way. I believe they understand my approach better than other nations (3).

If I had to dissappear again, I wish I could do it here in Japan. It must be comfortable(3).

1) Ongakugendai、1980
2) JomoShinbun、1/20/1982
3) NHK、imakonohitoni、1982