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Sharing the cycle with Elisabeth Leonskaja and Khatia Buniatishvili, among others, to Douglas has fallen the massive Hammerklavier and the Waldstein sonatas, as well as gems such as Op 90 and 101. The private comes well to Douglas, who in person proves to be as reticent in manner offstage as he appears confident onstage.

Full article http://www.theartsdesk.com/classical-music/qa-special-pianist-barry-douglas

3 Answers 3

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Here, "private" is used to mean

small

intimate

internal

delicate

introspective

It's that simple.

The writer is pointing out that Douglas is good with that sort of music. "comes well" is like saying "comes easily" or, simply, "is good at".

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"The private" means "music of a private character" or "the expression of private emotion/mood/feeling."

I note that it should be "to Douglas have fallen...," because "the massive Hammerklavier and the Waldstein sonatas" is a plural subject.

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  • Thank you very much! Last question: what means "have fallen" in this context?
    – Andrey
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 9:45
  • It means that those pieces of music have been assigned to him, though "fallen" has a somewhat looser implication, as if the assignment were random or arbitrary.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 17:14
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I think that here "the private" means pieces written for solo piano (as opposed to a concerto with orchestra, for example).

"Comes well" -- I think this means that playing solo piano pieces suits Douglas.

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