"In pinning down what one should do with a piece, what the atmosphere of the piece is, what the character is like... I find the Four Elements very helpful.

There are pieces which are more atmospheric and float. There are others which are more liquid, like water. There are the earthy ones and the fiery ones. And some times there are mixtures of several of them because in music things are possible that are actually impossible. And if I would name a distinguishing feature of a master piece is exactly this; it combines things that you thought there were not combinable..."


Alfred Brendel