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#2168739 - 10/20/13 12:43 AM October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
Tonight I attended Valentina's opening night concert at 92Y in New York City, which is just a few blocks from my apartment. yippie

Did anyone else attend the concert? She posted the whole thing in a Youtube video about 15 (!) minutes after it ended, but made the video private shortly afterwards.

I will probably be posting a review later on this thread, so look out for that if you're interested.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2168747 - 10/20/13 01:01 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
frenchflip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 107
Loc: New York, NY
I attended as well. Pretty good showing and interesting Shostakovich commentary. Until she was rudely interrupted, that is. Only thing- seven Chopin nocturnes in succession was a bit much. Nevertheless, very happy I went.

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#2168748 - 10/20/13 01:05 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: frenchflip]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: frenchflip
I attended as well. Pretty good showing and interesting Shostakovich commentary. Until she was rudely interrupted, that is.

Ah yes - that woman in the back. "Why is she talking? She's supposed to be playing!" ha Valentina took it into stride, though. grin

Originally Posted By: frenchflip
Only thing- seven Chopin nocturnes in succession was a bit much.

Eight. grin And not played quite to my taste. Still, an interesting program.

She got quite a reaction with the second encore, didn't she?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2168752 - 10/20/13 01:28 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
frenchflip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 107
Loc: New York, NY
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: frenchflip
I attended as well. Pretty good showing and interesting Shostakovich commentary. Until she was rudely interrupted, that is.

Ah yes - that woman in the back. "Why is she talking? She's supposed to be playing!" ha Valentina took it into stride, though. grin

Originally Posted By: frenchflip
Only thing- seven Chopin nocturnes in succession was a bit much.

Eight. grin And not played quite to my taste. Still, an interesting program.

She got quite a reaction with the second encore, didn't she?


Yes, eight, my mistake ... and I agree with you on the interpretation. Her Chopin has never much moved me, though. Stiff might not be the right word, but something ... anemic about it. With her style of playing, I venture she might do better with a scherzo, though even those have their hyper-Romantic moments, e.g., the "B" section of op. 20.

La Campanella did arouse quite the response! An always-smart encore, IMHO. I was happy to hear it.

Top
#2168754 - 10/20/13 01:36 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: frenchflip]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: frenchflip
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: frenchflip
I attended as well. Pretty good showing and interesting Shostakovich commentary. Until she was rudely interrupted, that is.

Ah yes - that woman in the back. "Why is she talking? She's supposed to be playing!" ha Valentina took it into stride, though. grin

Originally Posted By: frenchflip
Only thing- seven Chopin nocturnes in succession was a bit much.

Eight. grin And not played quite to my taste. Still, an interesting program.

She got quite a reaction with the second encore, didn't she?


Yes, eight, my mistake ... and I agree with you on the interpretation. Her Chopin has never much moved me, though. Stiff might not be the right word, but something ... anemic about it. With her style of playing, I venture she might do better with a scherzo, though even those have their hyper-Romantic moments, e.g., the "B" section of op. 20.

Her persistent asychronization is one of the main problems for me - yes, it's okay to do it sometimes, but is it ALWAYS necessary to have the RH drag behind the LH? On every single note? Also, her Chopin playing lacks in color and shape because she tends to disregard inner voices. This is also a problem when she plays Rachmaninoff - for example, in the E flat major prelude, which I think she just misunderstands. More on this later.

The Campanella was played quite well, especially considering that I think she decided to play it on the spot, with no pre-concert preparation. Her Liszt is her strongpoint. I wish she had played the B minor Ballade though. Speaking of which, what did you think of the rather strange procedure of having fans vote on the program, and then even on the encore (incidentally, did you see that the voting was open all the way through intermission? It was one of the program inserts).
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2168782 - 10/20/13 04:30 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
I was there!

I didn't like all of her interpretations, but there's just something exciting about watching someone who is so excited about playing!

Are thumbnails clacking on keys a necessary part of descending glissandos?
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

Top
#2168786 - 10/20/13 04:45 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
Quote:
The Campanella was played quite well, especially considering that I think she decided to play it on the spot, with no pre-concert preparation.


Not that this should diminish it in any way, but she has said in the past that since Campanella was one of her competition pieces and because of when and how she learned this and certain other competition pieces, she can simply produce one at any moment.

As for me, I can only vaguely envision a world in which pieces like that are in my list of "auto-pilot" pieces.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

Top
#2168804 - 10/20/13 07:13 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
Quote:
The Campanella was played quite well, especially considering that I think she decided to play it on the spot, with no pre-concert preparation.


Not that this should diminish it in any way, but she has said in the past that since Campanella was one of her competition pieces and because of when and how she learned this and certain other competition pieces, she can simply produce one at any moment.

As for me, I can only vaguely envision a world in which pieces like that are in my list of "auto-pilot" pieces.


In a way, auto-pilot is the only way La Camp. can be played. It's certainly not one of Liszt's best pieces, and not terribly interesting as music. It is both telling and somewhat sad that it has attained the status it has among pianists, IMO. To me, being present when a pianist plays it is quite a lot like watching certain circus acts - they may be surprising, but one quickly realizes it is all about endless training and little else.

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#2168809 - 10/20/13 07:38 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: wr]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5524
Originally Posted By: wr

In a way, auto-pilot is the only way La Camp. can be played. It's certainly not one of Liszt's best pieces, and not terribly interesting as music. It is both telling and somewhat sad that it has attained the status it has among pianists, IMO. To me, being present when a pianist plays it is quite a lot like watching certain circus acts - they may be surprising, but one quickly realizes it is all about endless training and little else.


Music should thrill and entertain, as well as move people grin .

Otherwise, classical music would be mainly slow, serious stuff, shorn of all the extra notes and figurations that spice it up. Even old JSB wrote a lengthy and brilliant cadenza (which can seem somewhat out of place in context...) for himself to play in his Brandenburg Concerto No.5, and every great composer ever since have composed brilliant (even unnecessarily brilliant) pieces for keyboard/piano whose main purpose is to entertain by showing off the soloist's pyrotechnics.

La Campanella is one of the more superior pieces in this genre, and in the right hands - like Lisitsa's - it has the power to entertain. And thrill.

Just like great acrobatic feats in circus acts, and in gymnastics and diving in the Olympics........ wink
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

Top
#2168827 - 10/20/13 08:43 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: bennevis]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: wr

In a way, auto-pilot is the only way La Camp. can be played. It's certainly not one of Liszt's best pieces, and not terribly interesting as music. It is both telling and somewhat sad that it has attained the status it has among pianists, IMO. To me, being present when a pianist plays it is quite a lot like watching certain circus acts - they may be surprising, but one quickly realizes it is all about endless training and little else.


Music should thrill and entertain, as well as move people grin .

Otherwise, classical music would be mainly slow, serious stuff, shorn of all the extra notes and figurations that spice it up. Even old JSB wrote a lengthy and brilliant cadenza (which can seem somewhat out of place in context...) for himself to play in his Brandenburg Concerto No.5, and every great composer ever since have composed brilliant (even unnecessarily brilliant) pieces for keyboard/piano whose main purpose is to entertain by showing off the soloist's pyrotechnics.

La Campanella is one of the more superior pieces in this genre, and in the right hands - like Lisitsa's - it has the power to entertain. And thrill.

Just like great acrobatic feats in circus acts, and in gymnastics and diving in the Olympics........ wink


Sorry, no sale.

I thoroughly enjoy virtuosic entertainment in classical music, when it is of decent musical quality. But this piece is, IMO, far from being "one of the more superior [sic] pieces in the genre". The tune is utterly banal, and the virtuosic figuration is of little musical interest in itself. It's rather like one of the gazillion sets of virtuoso "Carnival of Venice" variations that exist for various wind instruments - basically, there is not much music involved, and I find exhibition of rote learning of little interest.

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#2168847 - 10/20/13 09:38 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
I just thought it was interesting that even though Liszt wrote a piece called Dance of the Dead, when you put it on a program with the Shostakovich sonata, it's pretty apparent which composer liked exploring macabre themes, and which composer lived it. Todenanz may sound funereal, but that sonata is funereal. *shudder*
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

Top
#2168862 - 10/20/13 10:13 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: wr]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5524
Originally Posted By: wr
The tune is utterly banal, and the virtuosic figuration is of little musical interest in itself. It's rather like one of the gazillion sets of virtuoso "Carnival of Venice" variations that exist for various wind instruments - basically, there is not much music involved, and I find exhibition of rote learning of little interest.



OK then, maybe you might like the original a little better wink :

http://youtu.be/cTMZASKc9dc
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

Top
#2168939 - 10/20/13 01:35 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
I think La Campanella is an incredibly brilliantly written etude on a level with most of the other Paganini Etudes or Transcendental Etudes.

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#2168943 - 10/20/13 01:44 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
My Lisitsa concert thread has turned into a squabble about the musical quality of La Campanella. Oh well.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2168978 - 10/20/13 03:00 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
frenchflip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 107
Loc: New York, NY
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: frenchflip
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: frenchflip
I attended as well. Pretty good showing and interesting Shostakovich commentary. Until she was rudely interrupted, that is.

Ah yes - that woman in the back. "Why is she talking? She's supposed to be playing!" ha Valentina took it into stride, though. grin

Originally Posted By: frenchflip
Only thing- seven Chopin nocturnes in succession was a bit much.

Eight. grin And not played quite to my taste. Still, an interesting program.

She got quite a reaction with the second encore, didn't she?


Yes, eight, my mistake ... and I agree with you on the interpretation. Her Chopin has never much moved me, though. Stiff might not be the right word, but something ... anemic about it. With her style of playing, I venture she might do better with a scherzo, though even those have their hyper-Romantic moments, e.g., the "B" section of op. 20.

Her persistent asychronization is one of the main problems for me - yes, it's okay to do it sometimes, but is it ALWAYS necessary to have the RH drag behind the LH? On every single note? Also, her Chopin playing lacks in color and shape because she tends to disregard inner voices. This is also a problem when she plays Rachmaninoff - for example, in the E flat major prelude, which I think she just misunderstands. More on this later.

The Campanella was played quite well, especially considering that I think she decided to play it on the spot, with no pre-concert preparation. Her Liszt is her strongpoint. I wish she had played the B minor Ballade though. Speaking of which, what did you think of the rather strange procedure of having fans vote on the program, and then even on the encore (incidentally, did you see that the voting was open all the way through intermission? It was one of the program inserts).



I am no enemy of asynch, but must admit it can become excessive. Like many things, if used ad infinitum, it can be tiresome. Reminds me of the discussion on another thread about arpeggiating virtually all chords ... IMO this is even more tiring to listen to, authenticity notwithstanding.

I enjoyed the voting process. It adds a bit of democracy to the classical music experience, lest anyone find it to be elitist (I don't). Plus, media consumption is all about participation these days, no? If it is kept to voting between a selection of balanced programs, vs. voting piece by piece, I think it can be effective and am all for it.

I did notice the program insert about the encore, but also saw earlier in the afternoon her Facebook post that Ave Maria would be played as it had 40% of the vote. Her FB post also implored us to vote for the second encore via Twitter during her performance of the first encore. This I'm not a fan of.

Overall, a wonderful experience to be able to see her perform live. It does make a difference as TS mentioned.

Top
#2168980 - 10/20/13 03:03 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: frenchflip]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: frenchflip
did notice the program insert about the encore, but also saw earlier in the afternoon her Facebook post that Ave Maria would be played as it had 40% of the vote. Her FB post also implored us to vote for the second encore via Twitter during her performance of the first encore. This I'm not a fan of.

I wish she had played the 2nd Ballade. But I guess more people went for the popular pieces - Ave Maria and the Rondo El Contrabandista.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2169010 - 10/20/13 04:29 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: pianoloverus]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 382
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think La Campanella is an incredibly brilliantly written etude on a level with most of the other Paganini Etudes or Transcendental Etudes.


+1

(A shallow tribute, but it agrees with you 100% all the same!)

Top
#2169018 - 10/20/13 04:36 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 382
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
My Lisitsa concert thread has turned into a squabble about the musical quality of La Campanella. Oh well.


That may be so, but I think the popularity of the work is virtually down to Ms Lisitsa alone, so perhaps it is fitting that such a work is discussed regarding her.

I saw a Paul Barton post on You Tube where he said that he would produce a tutorial on it because it was very popular because of, "You Tube performances" and I thought straight away that it was a (slightly begrudging) reference to VL and her internet power.

She played in Poole, Dorset a couple of weeks ago, I live in Weymouth 20 miles away and I MISSED HER!!!

Jealous as heck of everybody who goes to her concerts.

Top
#2169130 - 10/20/13 09:05 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
I am not a Lisitsa fan, so I skipped this recital. But the Y has an excellent line-up of pianists and programs coming up: Olga Kern who will play Rachmaninoff and Alkan, Yefim Bronfman who will play chamber music and a new work for solo piano by E-P Salonen titled Sisar, and Peter Serkin whose program is quite literally new:

SWEELINCK: Capriccio
WUORINEN: Intrada (New York premiere, 92Y co-commission)
WUORINEN: Scherzo (92Y commission)
WUORINEN: Adagio (92Y co-commission)
BEETHOVEN: Six Bagatelles, Op. 126
BEETHOVEN: Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 81a, “Les Adieux”

Most exciting and an upcoming performance that I cannot recommend enough is the Isserlis-Denk duo, who will treat us to the Chopin, Martinu and Franck sonatas. A true treat to the ear and mind.

By the way, Tommasini has a rather negative review of Lisitsa's performance. In addition to comments pertaining to the music, he thought that she was ungracious about the program notes presented in the concert booklet when reciting her own version.

Here is an excerpt of his review (just posted online, I believe):

n a group of eight Chopin nocturnes, she was frustratingly uneven, sometimes playing with poetic lyricism, sometimes turning assertive and unruly. Ending with Liszt’s demonic and stunningly difficult “Totentanz” (“Dance of Death”), she pummeled the piece into submission with little feeling for the mystical realms the composer explores in this wildly experimental work.

Ms. Lisitsa left it to her online audience to select her encore from among nine options. Some 5,000 voted. The winner was Liszt’s arrangement of Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” But at the end of this long evening, she played another Liszt favorite: “La Campanella,” a riff on Paganini, dispatched with wondrous lightness but at a breathless tempo that robbed the piece of its playfulness.

Ms. Lisitsa’s fans waited in a winding line to have her autograph recordings afterward. But she had better start preparing her own program notes. After this recital, no writer is going to want that thankless job.

Top
#2169139 - 10/20/13 09:21 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: slipperykeys]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2151
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
My Lisitsa concert thread has turned into a squabble about the musical quality of La Campanella. Oh well.


That may be so, but I think the popularity of the work is virtually down to Ms Lisitsa alone, so perhaps it is fitting that such a work is discussed regarding her.

I don't think this is the case.

Pianists like Yundi Li, Lang Lang, and even Evgeny Kissin have been playing this as an encore for years, and with many many youtube videos being posted, long before VL started becoming popular.

I once had an acquaintance, who didn't play piano at all, ask me to play this piece once I mentioned that I played the piano....and that was in 2008!
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

Top
#2169151 - 10/20/13 09:49 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Andromaque]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
I am not a Lisitsa fan, so I skipped this recital. But the Y has an excellent line-up of pianists and programs coming up: Olga Kern who will play Rachmaninoff and Alkan, Yefim Bronfman who will play chamber music and a new work for solo piano by E-P Salonen titled Sisar, and Peter Serkin whose program is quite literally new:

SWEELINCK: Capriccio
WUORINEN: Intrada (New York premiere, 92Y co-commission)
WUORINEN: Scherzo (92Y commission)
WUORINEN: Adagio (92Y co-commission)
BEETHOVEN: Six Bagatelles, Op. 126
BEETHOVEN: Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 81a, “Les Adieux”

Most exciting and an upcoming performance that I cannot recommend enough is the Isserlis-Denk duo, who will treat us to the Chopin, Martinu and Franck sonatas. A true treat to the ear and mind.

By the way, Tommasini has a rather negative review of Lisitsa's performance. In addition to comments pertaining to the music, he thought that she was ungracious about the program notes presented in the concert booklet when reciting her own version.

Here is an excerpt of his review (just posted online, I believe):

n a group of eight Chopin nocturnes, she was frustratingly uneven, sometimes playing with poetic lyricism, sometimes turning assertive and unruly. Ending with Liszt’s demonic and stunningly difficult “Totentanz” (“Dance of Death”), she pummeled the piece into submission with little feeling for the mystical realms the composer explores in this wildly experimental work.

Ms. Lisitsa left it to her online audience to select her encore from among nine options. Some 5,000 voted. The winner was Liszt’s arrangement of Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” But at the end of this long evening, she played another Liszt favorite: “La Campanella,” a riff on Paganini, dispatched with wondrous lightness but at a breathless tempo that robbed the piece of its playfulness.

Ms. Lisitsa’s fans waited in a winding line to have her autograph recordings afterward. But she had better start preparing her own program notes. After this recital, no writer is going to want that thankless job.

For anyone interested in reading the full review, here it is.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2169198 - 10/20/13 11:43 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: slipperykeys]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
My Lisitsa concert thread has turned into a squabble about the musical quality of La Campanella. Oh well.


That may be so, but I think the popularity of the work is virtually down to Ms Lisitsa alone, so perhaps it is fitting that such a work is discussed regarding her.



Once again reinforcing the impression I have that Lisitsa fans in general are relatively naive when it comes to the world of classical piano.

ArkivMusic lists 85 recordings of it as a standalone piece, separate from complete versions of the Paganini etudes. Add in the complete sets and it's an even higher number. So, no, the popularity of it is not remotely close to being due to Lisitsa.

Top
#2169282 - 10/21/13 07:41 AM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Andromaque]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
I am not a Lisitsa fan, so I skipped this recital. But the Y has an excellent line-up of pianists and programs coming up: Olga Kern who will play Rachmaninoff and Alkan, Yefim Bronfman who will play chamber music and a new work for solo piano by E-P Salonen titled Sisar, and Peter Serkin whose program is quite literally new:

SWEELINCK: Capriccio
WUORINEN: Intrada (New York premiere, 92Y co-commission)
WUORINEN: Scherzo (92Y commission)
WUORINEN: Adagio (92Y co-commission)
BEETHOVEN: Six Bagatelles, Op. 126
BEETHOVEN: Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 81a, “Les Adieux”

Most exciting and an upcoming performance that I cannot recommend enough is the Isserlis-Denk duo, who will treat us to the Chopin, Martinu and Franck sonatas. A true treat to the ear and mind.

By the way, Tommasini has a rather negative review of Lisitsa's performance. In addition to comments pertaining to the music, he thought that she was ungracious about the program notes presented in the concert booklet when reciting her own version.

Here is an excerpt of his review (just posted online, I believe):

n a group of eight Chopin nocturnes, she was frustratingly uneven, sometimes playing with poetic lyricism, sometimes turning assertive and unruly. Ending with Liszt’s demonic and stunningly difficult “Totentanz” (“Dance of Death”), she pummeled the piece into submission with little feeling for the mystical realms the composer explores in this wildly experimental work.

Ms. Lisitsa left it to her online audience to select her encore from among nine options. Some 5,000 voted. The winner was Liszt’s arrangement of Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” But at the end of this long evening, she played another Liszt favorite: “La Campanella,” a riff on Paganini, dispatched with wondrous lightness but at a breathless tempo that robbed the piece of its playfulness.

Ms. Lisitsa’s fans waited in a winding line to have her autograph recordings afterward. But she had better start preparing her own program notes. After this recital, no writer is going to want that thankless job.


Tommasini, poor soul, must be envious of Lisitsa.

</sarcasm off>

Thanks for the mention that Kern is playing some Alkan (it will be some of the op. 35 etudes, although they don't say which ones). It is still quite unusual to have a fairly well-known pianist like her playing his music in concert. I think that's great, and hope to see it happening more often.

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#2169562 - 10/21/13 02:57 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
TimV Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/11
Posts: 71
Loc: New York, NY
I have a sort of funny story about Valentina's Saturday Night recital. I was meeting some friends for a very early dinner on the Upper East Side before ambling over to the 92nd St Y.

I got on the uptown 4 train out in Brooklyn, pulled out my kindle and started reading. At some point in very lower Manhattan I saw some people get on and sit right next to me. I didn't look up, but I noticed a woman wearing bright orange skirt, and a young kid (maybe 5-6 years old) wearing orange pants. "Wow, that's a lot of orange for one family" I thought to myself without looking up. Anyway, somewhere around Grand Central I looked over and Orange Skirt Lady was none other than Valentina Lisitsa. This must have been around 5PM. I guess they had been out sightseeing, and were probably heading back up to their hotel to have dinner and get ready for the evening. Without staring, I tried to verify my first impression. Enormous Piano Hands: check. Closely cropped Piano Fingernails: check. Then her still-standing husband said something in russian (Ukrainian, I know): check. Then she responded in her fairly distinctive voice: check.

I decided not to say anything to her. She probably wondered why the creepy guy with kindle kept giving sidelong glances at her. I don't know, I feel a little bit of regret not at least acknowledging that I knew who she was and wished her good luck. Or to break a finger, or whatever superstitious thing I should say. The fact is though, even if it were any another recognizable classical musician sitting next to me on the subway, I probably still wouldn't say anything.

I realize it's not like she's like an A-list film or TV star. Maybe she would have appreciated that some random dude on the subway recognized her and was in fact on his way to her recital. But the other part of me felt like it might be intrusive on her personal space with her family in a place where personal space is a precious commodity.

What would you have done?

Also, are there any A-List classical music celebrities? I feel like the general population would have recognized Leonard Bernstein, but that's probably it. Gustavo Dudamel?
_________________________
--------------------------
Bach WTC 1 #7
Brahms Op 76 #1, Op 118 #5
Debussy Suite Bergamasque

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#2169583 - 10/21/13 03:38 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
frenchflip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 107
Loc: New York, NY
Great story, Tim! She's very down to earth, which is something I've always liked about her. We probably would never have seen Horowitz in that subterranean tunnel for the masses!

Tommasini was a bit hard on Valentina, IMHO ... she deserves more respect. I think the "unevenness" in the nocturnes was just a matter of her interpretation, not a reflection of technical prowess. Many have noted (my self included) that Chopin nocturnes are probably not her strong card to begin with.

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#2169606 - 10/21/13 04:09 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: Polyphonist]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
I would have smiled and simply said that "I'm looking forward to you recital tonight."

Opera singers usually gather the most face recognition.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2169635 - 10/21/13 05:01 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: TimV]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5524
Originally Posted By: TimV

I realize it's not like she's like an A-list film or TV star. Maybe she would have appreciated that some random dude on the subway recognized her and was in fact on his way to her recital. But the other part of me felt like it might be intrusive on her personal space with her family in a place where personal space is a precious commodity.

What would you have done?

Also, are there any A-List classical music celebrities? I feel like the general population would have recognized Leonard Bernstein, but that's probably it. Gustavo Dudamel?

Lisitsa would definitely have appreciated you showing that you recognized her and would be attending her concert.

When I saw her in the Yamaha/Bösendorfer showroom in London last year practising for her RAH concert, she asked the small audience (who sat themselves at a respectful distance) to come right up to sit almost beside her while she was playing. And she chatted to everyone afterwards.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2169672 - 10/21/13 05:46 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: bennevis]
The Hound Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/11
Posts: 124
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: TimV

I realize it's not like she's like an A-list film or TV star. Maybe she would have appreciated that some random dude on the subway recognized her and was in fact on his way to her recital. But the other part of me felt like it might be intrusive on her personal space with her family in a place where personal space is a precious commodity.

What would you have done?

Also, are there any A-List classical music celebrities? I feel like the general population would have recognized Leonard Bernstein, but that's probably it. Gustavo Dudamel?

Lisitsa would definitely have appreciated you showing that you recognized her and would be attending her concert.

When I saw her in the Yamaha/Bösendorfer showroom in London last year practising for her RAH concert, she asked the small audience (who sat themselves at a respectful distance) to come right up to sit almost beside her while she was playing. And she chatted to everyone afterwards.


Hey, bennevis - are you referring to the Chappells showroom? I was there, too! Unless she was there more than once, but I certainly remember her telling people to come and sit closer if they wanted. She seemed very gracious and not at all self-important or anything.

You weren't the guy who told me who she was when I came in and sat down by the door, were you? I wanted to respond that I knew and that was why I'd popped in, but I thought I'd just shut up and listen instead.

As for her playing, I find it a mixed bag. She has a very strong technique and a beautiful touch, but some of her interpretations I find a bit brusque while others she seems to nail.

Originally Posted By: TimV

Also, are there any A-List classical music celebrities? I feel like the general population would have recognized Leonard Bernstein, but that's probably it. Gustavo Dudamel?


If you're defining celebrity as someone most people would recognise, then I'd say no, there aren't, unless you include singers (Pavarotti springing immediately to mind).

Maybe Nigel Kennedy in the past, or at a push Lang Lang. But generally, I don't feel like there are any classical music superstars whose fame transcends genres.


Edited by The Hound (10/21/13 05:51 PM)

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#2169689 - 10/21/13 06:17 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: The Hound]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5524
Originally Posted By: The Hound

You weren't the guy who told me who she was when I came in and sat down by the door, were you? I wanted to respond that I knew and that was why I'd popped in, but I thought I'd just shut up and listen instead.

As for her playing, I find it a mixed bag. She has a very strong technique and a beautiful touch, but some of her interpretations I find a bit brusque while others she seems to nail.

......Nigel Kennedy in the past, or at a push Lang Lang. But generally, I don't feel like there are any classical music superstars whose fame transcends genres.

Yes, it was Chappells. No, it wasn't me - I got there a bit late, because it was a last-minute decision. And I was glad I did go, as she treated us to the whole RAH concert and then some....

I was pretty impressed by her playing as well as by her unstuffy demeanour - she told me that she'd rented a flat in London which had a Bechstein piano, on which she'd be doing most of her practicing for the forthcoming concert. And that the Bösendorfer Imperial she'd be playing on had to make the long journey by road from Hannover and due to arrive only on the day of the concert. When I told her that I'd heard pianists including Lang Lang, Evgeny Kissin, András Schiff and Maria João Pires give solo recitals in the RAH before, she asked me what the acoustics were like, worried that the piano wouldn't arrive at the RAH in time for her to get used to it and the vast space of the RAH.

Like almost every pianist, her playing won't be to everyone's taste in everything she plays, but what isn't in question is her technical facility and musicianship. BTW, Peter Donohoe included her in his '50 Great Pianists' in his series of programmes for BBC Radio 3's Piano Season last year.

You're right, classical superstars are insignificant among the hoi polloi. But I suppose that the latest 'pop sensations' (like 'One Direction' - is that correct?) don't figure in the classical enthusiast's consciousness either. Just that there are far, far, far more of the hoi polloi than there are of us...... cry


Edited by bennevis (10/21/13 06:27 PM)
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2169722 - 10/21/13 07:27 PM Re: October 19th - Valentina Lisitsa at 92Y [Re: wr]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6082
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: wr

Thanks for the mention that Kern is playing some Alkan (it will be some of the op. 35 etudes, although they don't say which ones). It is still quite unusual to have a fairly well-known pianist like her playing his music in concert. I think that's great, and hope to see it happening more often.


I agree. I'm very interested to hear that. Yeol Eum Son plays Le Festin d'Esope now, and multiple Cliburn characters have Alkan in their repertoire.

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