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#1315442 - 11/30/09 09:25 PM Meeting Valentina Lisitsa
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Hola Guys!

A few weeks ago, I read through the paper and saw that Valentina would be playing Saints-Saens 2 with the local symphonia here, and I thought to myself... If I was able to contact Jeffrey Biegel and Tommy Otten for a lesson while they were there..... why not Valentina Lisitsa!?!?

My teacher and I emailed her website address as well as her agent and got a really warmhearted response from Val herself. She said she'd love to do a class and if she could... even perform some infront of us as she's working on alot of pieces.

Last Monday I went to see her play the Saints-Saens... very well done except for some missed notes in the first movement and a wrong entrance in the 3rd... but hell, i couldn't have done better laugh . At intermission, my teacher and I rushed backstage to get to talk to her in person. WHAT A DOWN TO EARTH PERSON! Never have I met someone so humble about their gifts. She was really worried about where to practice so we set something up for a few days last week at a retirement community on their Yamaha grand (forget what size).

Tueday she played S-S again and knocked it out of the park! She did a fantastic job... more relaxed and soooo clean.

On Wednesday night... my teacher and I went to watch her practice and get some pointers. I played the end of the Mendelssohn concerto and she gave me some great suggestions on how I could be sitting a little high for my height and how posture really afects the touch at the piano. Then my favorite part of all... she let us stay and watch her practice for three hours! Greatest practice session of my life! She played Rach3 minus orchestra for us and it was almost as perfect as it could be. She then played some Beethoven sonatas that she was going to perform later that week. Wonderful!

Here are some videos from said practice:




It's fun meeting a star that doesn't act like a star.

Just wanted to share that.
Matt

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#1315448 - 11/30/09 09:29 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Great story, Matt. You are one lucky dude! smile If you haven't, pop on over to my thread and check out her Rach Sonata 1. thumb

Thanks for sharing!!
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1315660 - 12/01/09 06:24 AM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: Horowitzian]
izaldu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1248
Loc:
This girl's a monster ... a bit inconsistent as some of her performances do nothing for me, others i love, but i get the impression she doesn't get as much recognition worldwide as she gets at pw.

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#1315684 - 12/01/09 08:11 AM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: izaldu]
mcasl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 116
Loc: Spain
A experience to remember for the years to come! I'm glad you were so lucky.
_________________________

- Danza Oriental, E. Granados
- Nocturne 4, J. Field
- Six variations on 'Mio caro adone', W.A. Mozart
http://www.youtube.com/mcasl

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#1315693 - 12/01/09 08:42 AM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: mcasl]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
Several other PW members have also met her. We attended a concert, she held a master class, and we had a PW party at Cathy Harl's in Alexandria Va a couple of years ago.

She is fantastic and seemed to enjoy sharing with us.

Glad you had the same experience!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1315726 - 12/01/09 09:54 AM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: lilylady]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1448
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Sounds wonderful! What other Beethoven sonatas did she play? I know she said in a recent YouTube interview that one of her goals is to learn all 32.

Daniel
_________________________
Currently working on:
-Dane Rudhyar's Stars from Pentagrams No 3

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#1316079 - 12/01/09 04:49 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: Ridicolosamente]
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
She also played the Moonlight and Op. 10 No. 2 for us. Then the Rachy moment musicals laugh

Matt

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#1316088 - 12/01/09 05:05 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19095
Loc: New York City
I noticed the video of Beethoven's Les Adieux ended right before the notoriously difficult part. I guess she flubbed it? wink


Edited by pianoloverus (12/01/09 05:05 PM)

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#1316150 - 12/01/09 06:29 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: pianoloverus]
Piano Again Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1162
Loc: Washington metro
One thing about her that impressed me was how she can get a good tone out of any piano. When we were at Cathy Harl's shop, she and her husband were playing on some of the cheapest pianos there -- little Chinese baby grands -- and they sounded almost as good as they did on the Boesendorfers. She really has that Russian-style technique drilled into her muscles (but not in a bad way!).
_________________________
Recovering cellist, amateur pianist.


Check out my blog !


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#1316203 - 12/01/09 07:52 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: Piano Again]
Drunk3nFist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
LUCKY! I am uber jealous! I bet you were hanging on the edge of your seat watching her give a solo Rach 3 :P
_________________________
Working on:

Prokofiev - Sonata No. 3
Kapustin - Variations Op. 41
Chopin - Ballade No. 4

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#1316211 - 12/01/09 08:02 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: Drunk3nFist]
whatevsyo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/09
Posts: 99
WOW! I am so jealous, I'm lost for words. That must have been an incredible experience. laugh

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#1316240 - 12/01/09 08:49 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: whatevsyo]
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
@plus - my "oldschool" flip phone only takes about 15 seconds of video. She played the entire sonata and probably no more than 3 slips for the entire piece. Very well done.

@PianoAgain - Val made a big point that she does not "subscribe to the Russian piano technique" . She further explained that "in Russian piano technique you play with your behind". It was interesting to see how she sits lower on purpose to use less behind i guess haha.

She also was able to blend with the smallish orchestra during the Saint-Saens soooo well. She can hear her volume and adjust I'm guessing.

@Drunk The funniest part of the night was her husband and 4 year old son showed up at the end of her practice that night. her son runs up and jumps in her lap, begging to play RAch 3. She played the entire first movement again for us... with her son in her lap. So funny. My teachers got a picture or a video of it... i'll try to get that from her and upload that.


Matt

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#1316249 - 12/01/09 09:09 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288

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#1316253 - 12/01/09 09:12 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Debussy20


Wonderful way to get a first-hand view of his mother's technique! grin
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1316262 - 12/01/09 09:20 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19095
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Debussy20
@plus - my "oldschool" flip phone only takes about 15 seconds of video. She played the entire sonata and probably no more than 3 slips for the entire piece. Very well done.



I was just joking about the video ending right before the hardest part/

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#1316289 - 12/01/09 09:56 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
Amant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/07
Posts: 310
Loc: Southwest
Originally Posted By: Debussy20
Hola Guys!...Then my favorite part of all... she let us stay and watch her practice for three hours! ...


It would've been more impressive if she had watched you practice for three hours.

I once sat in a on a revolving three hour penny-ante card game with Horowitz, some piano technicians, a Borscht belt comedian, and a Juliard alum or two over Pastrami sandwiches and Dr, Brown's cream sodas in the basement of Steinway Hall in my youth.

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#1316366 - 12/01/09 11:49 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: Amant]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Pics or it didn't happen. grin
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1316376 - 12/02/09 12:05 AM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: Horowitzian]
Less Rubato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 266
Loc: Washington state via OH-IO
I'd bet Valentina would love to have a copy of that photo. That looks like a great moment between mom and son.So few get captured by a camera.
Thank you for sharing Debussy20.

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#1316748 - 12/02/09 01:21 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1448
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Seems like yesterday that I saw her perform while pregnant.

1) 4-5 years already? Time flies!
2) Lucky kid!

I wonder what the child of two accomplished classical pianists wants to be when he grows up.

Daniel
_________________________
Currently working on:
-Dane Rudhyar's Stars from Pentagrams No 3

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#1316808 - 12/02/09 03:01 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: Ridicolosamente]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19095
Loc: New York City
Debussy20:

Can you tell us a little more about her practicing session?

Did she run all the way through the pieces you mentioned or stop to practice certain parts several times? Did everything look totally effortless like on her Youtube videos?

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#1316813 - 12/02/09 03:11 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: pianoloverus]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
Love the pic of she and her son on her lap.

How precious a moment was that?
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1316820 - 12/02/09 03:18 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: lilylady]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20741
Loc: Oakland
When I was working where she was practicing, she would repeat passages over and over. It definitely sounded like she was working seriously to get the music correct.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1316824 - 12/02/09 03:31 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: BDB]
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Actually, almost opposite BDB for when i saw her. She had a concert coming up in in 4 days at that point. So she ran all the way through three Beethoven sonatas start to finish , the Rach concerto, and then moment musicals. This was pretty late in the evening though 730-1030. No idea what she had been doing earlier. My teacher offered her house to practice originally but she needed 12 hours! a day to run through the 5 and a half hours of music she's got to play for the rest of this year.

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#1316851 - 12/02/09 04:17 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20741
Loc: Oakland
She might have tailored her practicing to the audience.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1316913 - 12/02/09 05:28 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: BDB]
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
True. I think I honestly would have liked to see her really work on her material more than performing it for us.

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#1316951 - 12/02/09 06:34 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: LiszThalberg]
pianogal37 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 214
That's a fantastic story, and I love the pic with her son. Imagine having 5 bosendorfers at home to choose from when learning twinkle twinkle little star.
I have to choose the etude-tableau 39/6 as my favotire classic lisitsa performance though. She plays it better than Rach IMHO.
*struck down by lightning*
_________________________
Bach French Suites No. 6, Allemande and Gigue, Beethoven's Pathetique, Chopin Nocturne 72/1, Fantaisie-Impromptu, Debussy's First Arabesque, Takacs Toccata Op 54, Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau 33/8.

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#1316953 - 12/02/09 06:36 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: pianogal37]
pianogal37 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 214
She practices 12 hours per day??! Well, that explains a lot.
How does she find time for the kiddo?
_________________________
Bach French Suites No. 6, Allemande and Gigue, Beethoven's Pathetique, Chopin Nocturne 72/1, Fantaisie-Impromptu, Debussy's First Arabesque, Takacs Toccata Op 54, Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau 33/8.

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#1317572 - 12/03/09 01:24 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: pianogal37]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4669
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Green with envy! Thank you for sharing this memorable experience!
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1317593 - 12/03/09 01:49 PM Re: Meeting Valentina Lisitsa [Re: pianogal37]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: pianogal37
She practices 12 hours per day??! Well, that explains a lot.
How does she find time for the kiddo?

You can see above that she's good at multitasking. ha Valentina Lisitsa seems like such a genuine and down to earth person. Congrats on getting to meet her!

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