"German culture leads to seeking depth in music; if it sounds lovely, then it's presumed to be superficial. For the Italians, it's exactly the opposite: if it doesn't sound nice, it's not art." On the eve of his first stab at Il trovatore, Barenboim contrasts Verdi's guiding principles of rhythmic rigour and melodic freedom with Wagner's harmonic uncertainty.
Has his departure from La Scala left a gap in his diary? In the Tagesspiegel interview, he laughs off a mention of the Berlin Philharmonic vacancy. The Staatsoper is, he says, his "life's work".