Prodigious Labèque: Music in the blood

10.21.12
Katia and Marielle Labeque
S Moda/El País

Amaze the world with his performances as a duo for more than 30 years.
Since age 60, a documentary discovers these French pianists. Two sisters you Madonna reverence.

Translated from the original article.

    A four hands at the piano to interpret Beethoven and Gershwin. But also play flamenco. And they do dressed in Jean Paul Gaultier and Givenchy. Or in jeans. The sisters Labèque demonstrate every day to be the duo's most important contemporary pianists in the world is not incompatible with fashion. Intimate Madonna and Sting, but Daniel Day-Lewis and Paco de Lucia, both friends and their partners move into the world of art and culture. Marielle has been married for 24 years with the conductor Semyon Bychkov.

  Katia has nine-year relationship with French musician David Chalmin. With it expands the boundaries of artistic experience in the eclectic group B for Bang, which also doubles age them all. Because Labèque sisters have now surpassed the 60-Katia was born in 1950; Marielle, in 1952 - but with them there is no age or geographical boundaries. They have a house in London, in Paris, on the coast of his native Bayonne (France) and in Rome, his current base of operations. United by blood and the piano was her mother, Ada Cecchi music teacher, who taught them to touch him, Labèque together is like expressing your inner passion.

  This story of women's music and now includes the documentary The Labèque Way. Félix Head-Driven and produced by El Deseo, opens tomorrow in Spain, during the International Film Festival of Valladolid. The festival has a special meaning for them: in this city regained his passion for Spain after two years of artistic residence there with the Orchestra of Castilla y León. Katia calls the shots but Marielle is the base. Two sisters different sounding as one when they sit at the piano. Their love of music comes to them from childhood, what about his bold way of dressing in a world so sober? Katia Labèque: It is true that classical music is not interested in fashion. And I understand, because it is not their world. But for us it is a very important part of who we are. Marielle Labèque: I like wearing white and black, the colors of our instrument. I like the tuxedo for women, but I weigh jackets on stage and it is very important to be comfortable. Prefer new and liberating ideas? Because of Jean Paul Gaultier and Givenchy? K. L.: I love their proposals because they are never formal. They have a modern and inventive that I find in other fashion houses. M. L.: Two artists who design very theatrical and poetic things that go great with us. K. L.: Above all, I like the gothic side of Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy. It is ideal for our skin and our long hair pale and dark.

  What other costume details are important when going on stage?
K. L.: I am a whopping, so I like to keep shoulders covered. If not, I froze with the air conditioning of these great theaters.

  And day by day, do you have favorites?
K. L.: The black jeans. They are the invention of our time! I can not live without them! Then I add whatever you want, especially boots. I like them with heels for everything except travel. With no one to run them through airports. M. L: And the leggings black. I love that color, it makes me feel great.

  Besides coordinated to the clothes, this is an amazing story of collaboration. They play four-hand, live in the same house, work together
K. L.: To this day I still find a miracle. No other explanation. Music has developed even more what brought us together at birth. I can only say that there is not a day that I get bored with my sister. It comes from our parents, of how we grew up, sharing everything. And the music made us grow as human beings. Yet their differences are clear, also in music: Katia and Marielle is more rock has a higher affinity for Baroque music. K. L.: We are complementary. I like all the possibilities of music. And I have the feeling that there are still many undiscovered artists M. L.: But I can get home and catch her listening to Chopin concert Krystian Zimerman. K. L.: It's rare that I find myself listening to Radiohead Marielle [laughs].

  Their partners are also very different.
M. L.: Our married life is not easy, but it is. Semyon met after a concert he gave with the Orchestre de Paris, at a dinner given by Daniel Barenboim. And we've been chasing for 24 years New York, Paris, Chicago, St. Petersburg .... We do not see much, but maybe that's the secret of our marriage, there is no time for fights. Also, I am very independent and I enjoy the solitude. And Katia prefers to guitarists, as can be deduced from his past relationship with John McLaughlin or current David Chalmin. K. L.: The guitar is an instrument that I've always wanted to play. The rock, not classical, I find it very boring. What interests me most about David is creating new musical project with him. He is very young and open, and there is much to learn from the young.

  How do you cross the barrier of 60?
K. L.: Without thinking about it. While life energize us do not think about age. This is to keep in touch with the world in which you live, not to stay where you've lived. The sad thing would not be able to do what we like, but it is not the case. We keep discovering things and every age has its beauty.

  Sounds like that's the secret of eternal youth.
K. L.: The secret are the good genes. My father died at 90, and a car accident. He was a doctor and had a very healthy life. All I cured with aspirin, vitamin C and sleep. We lead a life very organic, as natural as possible. M. L.: I am a little more active than Katia. I like the movement, go walking in the mountains, in silence, with my dogs. Running, swimming and going to bed early. K. L.: But I'm nocturnal. I like to do pilates. I love it because I'm on the floor and that makes it easier! I also enjoy lighting my candles and watching movies late at night. Do you have any fetishes? K. L.: I'm in love with Paul Thomas Anderson. The Master loved. Each of his films is a surprise that leads me to different worlds. M. L.: I would like to see more movies, but I have no time. And I'd rather go to the opera. K. L.: We'd love to participate in a film project. A film, though not commercial, reaches millions of people, something that never reach the concerts. Cinema is the art of our time and would be an ideal vehicle for our music. I like both Almodóvar! How has women! There have missing contacts in the world of cinema. K. L: But the music is what unites us. Daniel Day-Lewis as an artist I adore and his wife [Rebecca Miller], as a woman. It's one of my best friends, but we see very little because there is no time. We are in contact with Madonna for 15 or 16 years. We will present the Basque group Kalakan at a birthday party he organized. We played Ravel's Bolero with them. He was delighted and, as she says, when something you like, the steals. So he took them on tour. We do not seek fame. We have never obeyed the record. We surround ourselves with friends impossible to resist. As Felix Headlamp, someone came to us with this documentary project that was like a gift. Or Kalakan, we back our land, the Basque Country. M. L.: Or the singer Mayte Martin, another great artist that keeps you alive. Someone you love because in life and makes me laugh on stage makes me mourn.

  What are the ties that unite with Spain?
K. L.: Flamenco has given us what we already knew, like our visit to Valladolid. We discovered Spain because we grew up with it, while listening to my mother play Alicia de Larrocha. Nobody touches Iberia by Albeniz like her. M. L.: The food also helps, although I like too. The lamb, ham, chocolate with churros. We have always liked living in Spain. K. L: And I'm glad you do not want to let the crisis shatter their lives. Did you ever doubted his musical vocation? K. L.: What we hate is the practice, of course. But never the music, are two different things. It is a great responsibility to differentiate that when you teach a child. And of course we like other things. I share with my sister a passion for flowers and houses. People like the antiquarian Axel Vervoordt has really helped us and we changed the taste. M. L.: I am of those who believe that the desire to do anything you want. But, like my sister, I feel very fortunate that we have life. And the music that we have chosen.