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 Post subject: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:37 pm 
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He is my favorite pianist. I haven’t gone so far as analyzing his playing on various works and composers, but whatever I hear, I like. His Chopin mazurkas are great, as are his Chopin preludes. Just today though, something somewhere else made me cruise over to that Verbier Festival site ( I think I posted this somewhere else around here too) and watch him play the Brahms Op. 118. The no. 2 is something I have up here on the site, along with John Robson and a couple others. But…and I never thought I’d say this…I’m not crazy about Kissin’s rendition, here. Yes, he plays very sensitively with a beautiful tone, as always, but this is too slow. I always thought the piece to bit long to begin with. I’m sure like everything; it’s all a matter of opinion. If you want to watch him play the Brahms, Chopin, or Schubert here is the link: http://www.medici-arts.tv/# go to July 30th. It's really nice.

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Last edited by pianolady on Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:58 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
Have you ever listened to his interpretation of Mussorgsky's The Lark and Pictures at an Exhibition? Wonderful! His Beethoven isn't that bad either. overall he is a great artist.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:00 pm 
> He is my favorite pianist.

Great natural talent. He plays in a way and at a general quality level
that nobody can tell "I do not like him". I too consider him one of the best among living and
famous pianists. The only aspect that make him not in my top-3 but only in the top-5-10
(he will be destroyed by this fact, I think :) ), it's an impression of "first of the pupils", of
a pianism not completely free and "so-wanted" by his own ideas in his performances.
Not a real "lack" of personality, (his comunicative appeal being marvellous, so friendly and
rich) but I find more strong in creative/poetic sense other pianists (Sokolov, Pogorelich, Pletnev).

All best,
Sandro


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:37 am 
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I too agree that he is one of the greatest pianists of the younger generations. He has got a great sense of music and a great most natural personality. He does not fold himself into a known category, nor tries to be something that he really is not. He is just himself interpreting music using his knowledge but most important, his natural instinct. I definitely like this guy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:09 pm 
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I saw Kissin perform last night with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It is the first time I have seen him, and I was very excited about it. He played Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor. My report on his playing can be summed up in one word - Wow! He was great! I didn’t hear a single slip. He watches the conductor intensely when he’s not playing but also as he plays. He and the orchestra were perfectly in sync.

He’s uninhibited at the piano – loose, free, and moves around quite a bit as he plays. You can tell that the music comes out of his whole body, not just his fingers. And he’s taller than I thought and very trim. He has a habit of running his fingers through his hair when his hands come off the keys and also checking his cuff-links. He wore black tails with white bow tie and looked very debonair.

He played two encores, which surprised (and thrilled) everybody. The first was Chopin’s Scherzo in B-flat minor Op. 31. Wow! Oh my God. Perfect! He used the soft pedal on all those opening triplets, and then exploded on the next couple measures. His runs sounded not humanly possible as they were so delicate and fast. And the end was just amazing. His power and strength is beyond words. My husband has heard me ‘try’ to play this one many years ago. After the piece, he whispered to me, “So that’s how it is supposed to go. It's too hard for you.”

Kissin’s second encore piece was Brahms Waltz in A major – Op. 39. no. 15. It’s that short, sweet lullaby that probably all of us have played before. What is weird is that I was just thinking about this piece the day before when I was sleeping and thought I would polish it up and record it. Then I hear Kissin play it. I’m so glad he played this, because at least I can say that I can play something almost as well as he does.

One more thing – I saw Brian (bclever) at the concert. :) Brian - feel free to add your impressions, here.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:18 pm 
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I saw you too! It took me until the middle of the Stravinsky to find you :)
Here is my contribution to world knowledge for the day:
did you know that when sitting BEHIND the piano in a concerto setting a
single french horn is louder? Far, far louder.
Like you I didn't hear any wrong notes, but I didn't
hear any right ones either. Oh well, it was an experiment after all. On the other hand, I could
see his hands quite clearly, so that part at least was good. Also it was fun to watch the conductor
dance and prance and watch his facial expressions. You may not have heard it where you were
sitting but he also added quite a few loud grunts to the music :) One other funny thing about sitting
behind the orchestra is that Kissin was if I'm not mistaken flirting with one of the violinists in the
first row :) I saw Emanuel Ax do this too a few months ago, not the same girl of course.
Maybe that's a technique to put the orchestra at ease or something.

Oh yeah, that Chopin Kissin played for his encore was amazing! It was like the piano was just a toy for him it looked so effortless.

Regarding the way he played with his hair and cuffs, it was HOT H-O-T hot up there. He was
sweating as were all the musicians and all the people up in the terrace where I was. My girlfriend
almost had to sit outside.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:27 pm 
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Interesting. I was going to ask you about those seats. I guess they would be fine if it is just a piano concert (recital). I could see that it would be hot up on the stage, so I'm surprised that Kissin didn't seem to have sweaty fingers. And no, I heard no 'grunts' from the conductor. (that's funny)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:02 pm 
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I saw Evgeny Kissin perform a solo concert yesterday afternoon. I had been looking forward to the day for a long time because I missed the last time he came here to play solo.

He played only music by Prokofiev and Chopin. The first half was the Prokofiev, and the pieces he played were:

1. Three Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75
“Juliet the Young Girl,” “Mercutio,” and “The Montagues and the Capulets” (I’ve been humming that tune ever since)

2. Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major, Op. 84 - I am not qualified to offer up any critical comments on this, but it sure was some piece! I wasn’t crazy about the first movement, but the second was very beautiful and the 3rd movement was incredible.

After the intermission came Chopin, beginning with the Polonaise-Fantasy in A-flat Major, Op. 61. Beautiful! Next came three mazurkas. I am currently working on the Op. 30 set, and the first mazurka he played was Op. 30, No. 4 so I was thrilled and glued to every single note! I so much enjoyed watching him play it. Kind of like listening to one of my CD’s but there he was right there in front of me! I also inwardly groaned, because after hearing him play it, I now know how much more work I have to do on it. Next was Mazurka Op. 41, No. 4 and then op. 59, No. 1.

After the mazurkas he played 8 etudes. They were: Op. 10 nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 12 and Op. 25 nos. 6 and 11. Really great playing, as expected. My girlfriend kept shaking her head in wonderment, and I heard people around me muttering things like, “Wow”, “Jeez”, “Oh Man”, “Unbelievable”.

Then it was encore time. First encore – I nearly cried because he played my very favorite nocturne, Op. 27, No. 2 - OMG, so beautiful!

After that, two more Prokofiev pieces, or was it three? Now I can’t recall. They were pretty short, but fiery and exciting. I know the last one was the March from The Love of Three Oranges (another tune I can’t stop humming).

I heard two or three ‘smudges’ but that’s it, and in general I enjoyed the entire concert. He played to a full house, and wore a classically styled black tuxedo with tails. He changed after the concert, which I know because I was lucky to get some photos with him. I’ve posted them in the General Forum under “post your pictures”.

p.s. I saw Brian again, so Brian - got anything else to say about the concert?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:39 pm 
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Ohhh, Kissin playing the Romeo & Juliet suite! It’s one of my current favorite Prokofiev work. And the Chopin studies! I just hope he’s going to record this stuff. Again, lucky you to be there. Unfortunately, Kissin doesn’t often play in Italy, and never in Turin, don’t know why they can’t manage to invite him or what.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:55 pm 
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You would have loved “The Montagues and the Capulets”. I've never heard it on a piano before, but he really made it work! That booming left hand - I thought a piano string was going to snap.

And now - thanks a lot for making me remember that tune, Alfonso, because now it's stuck in my head again. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:23 pm 
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Sounds like quite an experience :). If he ever gets around where I live, I will try to get a ticket for a concert. He has a marvellous technique and an almost extreme drive when he plays technically demanding pieces and you can hear in the music how happy he really is and how he enjoys the moment. One of a kind, really!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:40 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
You would have loved “The Montagues and the Capulets”. I've never heard it on a piano before, but he really made it work! That booming left hand - I thought a piano string was going to snap.

And now - thanks a lot for making me remember that tune, Alfonso, because now it's stuck in my head again. :)


Last January I bought the Sikorski score of the Prokofiev (you never know and, plus, some of them are easy :wink: ), I love immensely the first and the seventh (Father Lorenzo) numbers. By the way, check out the most recent post in Hough's blog, in the comments they mention the Kissin recital in Chicago.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:10 pm 
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Yes - Robert, you must get a ticket. And you're right about his technique. I watched his hands very closely and I still can't figure out how he produces certain sounds. Especially the way he plays some staccato notes. And the speed of his fingers playing runs is mind-boggling. No matter what, I'm sure I could never get my fingers to move so fast!

Alfonso - does that mean we will hear your recordings of those two pieces or is that a joke? I don't know that music at all. And thanks for the tip about the blog and Kissin in Chicago. Interesting. I should have stuck around longer, maybe would have followed him into the restaurant. haha

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:33 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Alfonso - does that mean we will hear your recordings of those two pieces or is that a joke? I don't know that music at all.


Well, if I didn't have so many other projects before R&J I'd answer yes. R&J are 10 pieces and on PS you can find Sandro's recording of a couple of them (Nos 6-10). The numbers I'd like to learn are: 1-2-4-5-7-8-9. Unfortunately, Nos 5 and 8 are difficult and No.1 is VERY difficult, so I don't really know. Let's see, maybe the next year. For me it'd be a long term project. There are pieces I wish to learn but I don't have enough technique to play them satisfactorily and therefore they lie resting and waiting for me to achieve a new level of proficiency.

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Alfonso Bertazzi, amateur pianist.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:12 pm 
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Alf, I read that blog post and can't believe he STILL travels with his mom and professor.
That has to be one completely screwed up environment. Evgeny, if you read this call me.
We'll party.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:16 am 
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Can I come?

(Then again, those 'Roman' hands and Russian' fingers.) (get it? :wink: )

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:17 am 
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Shameless. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:21 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
He reminds me a little bit of Tom Hanks in the movie "Big".

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:55 am 
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bclever wrote:
Alf, I read that blog post and can't believe he STILL travels with his mom and professor.
That has to be one completely screwed up environment.


Yes, it's sad. Sometimes I wonder what'd happen if he suddenly lost them. Would we have a new deranged but artistically amazing pianist, like Pogorelich (in whose case the roles of mother/wife and teacher were united in one person)?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:43 pm 
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alf wrote:
but artistically amazing pianist, like Pogorelich (in whose case the roles of mother/wife and teacher were united in one person)?


I hope you are not saying that he married his mother? :shock: That's not good.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:27 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
alf wrote:
but artistically amazing pianist, like Pogorelich (in whose case the roles of mother/wife and teacher were united in one person)?


I hope you are not saying that he married his mother? :shock: That's not good.


Of course not. It's widely known that, just after the Chopin Competition he married his teacher, who was at the time twice his age.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:46 pm 
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alf wrote:
pianolady wrote:
alf wrote:
but artistically amazing pianist, like Pogorelich (in whose case the roles of mother/wife and teacher were united in one person)?


I hope you are not saying that he married his mother? :shock: That's not good.


Of course not. It's widely known that, just after the Chopin Competition he married his teacher, who was at the time twice his age.


Oh, that's interesting. I did not know that. Thanks for the information.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:11 pm 
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By my math, she was 43, he was 22 when they married. I know plenty of hot 43 year olds so
I say way to go to Ivo! The Van Halen song "Hot for Teacher" comes to mind, not sure why. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:45 pm 
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alf wrote:
pianolady wrote:
alf wrote:
but artistically amazing pianist, like Pogorelich (in whose case the roles of mother/wife and teacher were united in one person)?


I hope you are not saying that he married his mother? :shock: That's not good.


Of course not. It's widely known that, just after the Chopin Competition he married his teacher, who was at the time twice his age.


And still is. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:19 am 
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Horowitzian wrote:
alf wrote:
pianolady wrote:
alf wrote:
but artistically amazing pianist, like Pogorelich (in whose case the roles of mother/wife and teacher were united in one person)?


I hope you are not saying that he married his mother? :shock: That's not good.


Of course not. It's widely known that, just after the Chopin Competition he married his teacher, who was at the time twice his age.


And still is. :lol:


http://www.math.brown.edu/~banchoff/twiceasold/

Regardless, she died in mid 90's.

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Alfonso Bertazzi, amateur pianist.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:35 am 
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bclever wrote:
I know plenty of hot 43 year olds so I say way to go to Ivo!


Hmm... He is notoriously neither a Jewish nor a bad kind of pianist. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:07 am 
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Today I attended another Kissin concert in Chicago, and just like the last time I saw him play, I was completely stunned by his amazing skill/talent/technique. Really, he was so good, I wish you all could have been there with me. He played an all-Liszt concert which was this:

* Etude No. 9 in A-Flat Major (Ricordanza)
* Liszt Sonata in B Minor
* Liszt Funérailles
* Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
* Liszt Gondoliera, Canzone and Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli

I'm not going to go into great detail about each piece because Kissin's playing was just so great on all of them that I'd be repeating myself. Suffice it to say, that his trills, his rapid-fire octaves, lightning-speed arpeggios, dynamics, tone shadings, and well...everything else was perfect! Almost inhuman - like he's really a god or something. His fingers, the way they trickle up and down the keyboard (which happens a lot in Liszt's music) is unbelievable. So delicate, and the way he can control the dynamics through everything...well...I just can't describe it. I'm still floating....

One interesting tidbit - during the Sonata In B Minor, a string flew out of the piano. I've never seen that happen live before. What is strange, is that it was not during one of the loud, powerful parts of the sonata, but during one of the softer parts. All of a sudden this 'thing' flew up and onto the stage and at first I thought I was seeing things. But nope, it was a string. Guess it was just that string's time to go. A technician replaced the string during intermission.

Another thing - an incident happened last time Kissin played in Chicago where someone's cell phone starting ringing as Kissin was playing. The embarrassed knucklehead was sitting on the stage (overflow seating) and right in front and near Kissin. Well, it happened again today! Only difference is that today's knucklehead was on stage but in the second row so we couldn't see him/her.

Almost forgot the encores...he played three of them. I did not recognize the first one. The second one I did recognize and I'm singing it my head right now, but darn if I can remember what it is. It has to be either Schubert of Schumann, but I think it must be an arrangement by Liszt because there were a lot more notes in it. Actually, I think it was two or three pieces tied together...oh, oh, oh....I know it....argh...whatever it was, it was very nice...like better than the originals. The third piece was the ever-popular Liebestraum which was a beautiful way to end things...like it gave everyone a chance to catch their breath.

Well, that's about it. I think I am now going to go and practice arpeggios for the next two years without stopping. And for the fashionistas out there - Kissin dressed in a classic black tuxedo, complete with long tales. Very formal.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:17 pm 
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Sorry to Kissin-lovers here, but I was recently very disappointed at his playing. I follow the Verbier Festival on the internet every year and nearly every year he comes to play. But what I heard was (for years) highly polished but neither inspiring nor inspired performances. Strangly only the halfs of each recitals (from the two recitals by him there) were published on the web (does it mean that the rest of them were even worse?), and even though therefore each published recital was very short, I couldn't listen to them to the end with patience. What he played I cannot completly remember, in any case I heard the most boring rendition of Schumann's Fantasie-Stücke op.12 from him.
But I admit there are bunch of excellent playing of him on YT.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:31 pm 
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hyenal wrote:
Sorry to Kissin-lovers here, but I was recently very disappointed at his playing. I follow the Verbier Festival on the internet every year and nearly every year he comes to play. But what I heard was (for years) highly polished but neither inspiring nor inspired performances.

This is exactly what renowned critics have been writing over the years. With all his formidable technical prowess, he seems artistically dull at times.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:12 pm 
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I admit there have been one or two recordings of his that I was not crazy about but I just can't help it, I think he's one of the greatest players out there! Maybe he also just likes Chicago because he always plays his heart out when he's here.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Hi everyone!

Pianolady, the three encores were:

Encore: Schumann/Liszt Liebeslied (Widmung)
Encore: Schubert/Liszt Soirées de Vienna (Valses caprices, No. 6)
Encore: Liszt Liebestraum No. 3

My wife and I also attended in Chicago. Full house, great audience response (as expected).

I felt the same as I always do when I hear Kissin live. He has a tremendous technical prowess and his sound is incredible. But when he plays works with larger structures such as the Liszt Sonata, he has some trouble maintaining the overall structural thread. I think the Liszt Sonata is so much greater than the manner in which he played it. He is no longer a child prodigy; he is a grown man who, by now, should be playing at the highest artistic level.

I enjoyed the shorter selections more.

In my opinion, Kissin is a great pianist. I hope he eventually fulfills his potential of becoming a great artist.

All best to everyone,

Alexander

http://www.AlexanderDjordjevic.com


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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:18 am 
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I can't claim to know the sonata as well as you, liszt1970 :wink:, so of course I couldn't listen with as critical an ear. I believe you though since you are the expert. And thanks for supplying the names of the encores, Alex. I knew I was close and that they all had to be Liszt.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:23 am 
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Great technique, but I've always had reservations about his sound, finding it a bit monochromatic. In Liszt, I'd much rather listen to Bolet (for tonal qualities) or to Berman or Cziffra (for excitement).


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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Quote:
I've always had reservations about his sound, finding it a bit monochromatic.


I couldn't agree more. I like Berman and Cziffra, too, although Cziffra perhaps only in small doses; it becomes a bit like listening to/watching a circus act after a while :P For me, I guess Horowitz is tops on Liszt, with Michael Ponti's and Jerome Rose's performances of various works also coming to mind (Jerome Rose does IMO a magnificent performance of the Annees on Vox Box and for such a bargain, but I'm not sure it's still available :( )

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:06 pm 
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For me a pianist is not one who has complete mastery of the piano, but someone who uses this complete mastery to make music.

I have always considered Kissin, together with Pogorelich, not as a pianist, but as an acrobat. It seems I am not alone in this.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Aw you guys, I wish you could have heard him play. I really can't see how it can get any better than that!

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:58 pm 
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I have always considered Kissin, together with Pogorelich, not as a pianist, but as an acrobat.


Maybe they're focusing too much on their hair :P

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Kissin was really, really good. No doubt about that! It's all just our personal opinions at this point. You can't please all the people all the time...

I disagree that Kissin and Pogorelich's playing are similar in any way whatsoever. Pogorelich infuses his playing with the essence of his real-life experiences, many of which are extremely painful; Kissin's playing shows his accomplishment and mastery of the piano because that's what he knows.

Music is life.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:13 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
I have always considered Kissin, together with Pogorelich, not as a pianist, but as an acrobat.

Even though I expressed reservations against Kissin, I find this remark unfair, Richard. There are (unfortunately) many famous pianists now, who have amazing technique, but no interpretatory depth which would have to go with that technique. The two pianists on your comment don't belong to that category at all. (Pogorelich was a great artist.)

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:07 am 
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Well, since someone mentioned hair, I can say that Kissin's hair is getting shorter. Maybe he had just gotten a haircut...?

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:30 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Aw you guys, I wish you could have heard him play. I really can't see how it can get any better than that!

OK, when other pianists criticise Kissin, there's a certain component of jealousy. We all wish we had his superpowers when it comes to physical mastery of the instrument. So I've been holding my tongue, not commenting in this thread for fear that it would sound like sour grapes. I can't do what he does, so how dare I criticise?

I have heard Kissin play live, and it was indeed awesome. I was deeply impressed. But I've also heard Pollini play live, and the physical side of playing the instrument was very much in the background, secondary to the revelations about the music itself. It was simply on a different plane. I don't know whether Pollini could play, say, Feux Follets as quickly and as prettily as Kissin can, but such questions don't seem to matter.

So, with regards to Kissin's playing, you ask how could it get any better than that? I could say that Pollini (and a few others) changed my life, whereas Kissin merely impressed me.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:44 am 
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I don't know his name, but the only time I have been "blown away," literally in "shock and awe," and literally dumbfounded with my mouth hanging wide open at a pianist, was when I saw the Co-Winner, Chinese BLIND pianist, in the Van Clibun International Competition. I shall never be more shocked in my life by a pianist!

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:57 am 
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musical-md wrote:
I don't know his name, but the only time I have been "blown away," literally in "shock and awe," and literally dumbfounded with my mouth hanging wide open at a pianist, was when I saw the Co-Winner, Chinese BLIND pianist, in the Van Clibun International Competition. I shall never be more shocked in my life by a pianist!

That would be Nobuyuki Tsujii, the Japanese blind pianist. Yes he is nothing short of a miracle.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:31 am 
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hanysz wrote:
So, with regards to Kissin's playing, you ask how could it get any better than that? I could say that Pollini (and a few others) changed my life, whereas Kissin merely impressed me.


Just as I say! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:36 am 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
I don't know his name, but the only time I have been "blown away," literally in "shock and awe," and literally dumbfounded with my mouth hanging wide open at a pianist, was when I saw the Co-Winner, Chinese BLIND pianist, in the Van Clibun International Competition. I shall never be more shocked in my life by a pianist!

That would be Nobuyuki Tsujii, the Japanese blind pianist. Yes he is nothing short of a miracle.

His existence itself is a miracle. But I'd like to be able to simply ignore his physical disability and concentrate myself on his music. I always tend to be distracted by my respect to that human being, which lies outside of musical evaluations.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:44 am 
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hyenal wrote:
His existence itself is a miracle. But I'd like to be able to simply ignore his physical disability and concentrate myself on his music. I always tend to be distracted by my respect to that human being, which lies outside of musical evaluations.

This is true. It should not matter whether a pianist is blind, or only 3 years old, or has no arms, or whatever. In practice, it does matter greatly and it inevitably colors our appreciation. I think there are not so many blind classical keyboard players (the famous organist Helmut Walcha comes to mind).
It's an incomprehensible achievement.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:48 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Just as I say! :D

Almost but not quite. I still think that Kissin is an excellent pianist. Next time I find myself in a city where he's playing I will certainly go to his concert, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Look at Rodrigo, the blind composer, yet he lever let that out and there he is right. If you are good you will be remembered for that, not because you have some disability or because you can play upside down (was there not the violinist who played Beethoven's violin concerto with the strings facing downwards?). That is what I call an acrobat.

I know I have heard a great musician when I do not wonder how he manages to play piece A or B but when I am enthralled by the way he plays them. Technique is completely forgotten. In this discussion I see mostly the former: amazement, but not sentiment.

Is that not what we hear of Paganini?

Would I go to a Kissin concert? I doubt it, partly because of price, but mostly because I am a very odd pianist (if I may call myself so) in that I am not very fond of either Liszt or Chopin and that seems the staple diet if one is great.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:20 pm 
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hanysz wrote:

So, with regards to Kissin's playing, you ask how could it get any better than that? I could say that Pollini (and a few others) changed my life, whereas Kissin merely impressed me.

That's very interesting, Alexander. I've seen Pollini play live three times. The first time I remember that I very much liked his Debussy Preludes. The second time I was more disappointed because he played my two favorite Chopin nocturnes too fast (IMO) like he was in a hurry to get out of there. Funny - that's all I remember about that concert. But the last time I saw him my opinion swung back to the positive. He played all the Chopin Preludes - probably the best I've ever heard them.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:46 pm 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
I don't know his name, but the only time I have been "blown away," literally in "shock and awe," and literally dumbfounded with my mouth hanging wide open at a pianist, was when I saw the Co-Winner, Chinese BLIND pianist, in the Van Clibun International Competition. I shall never be more shocked in my life by a pianist!

That would be Nobuyuki Tsujii, the Japanese blind pianist. Yes he is nothing short of a miracle.

Well said! Thanks for the correction and id.

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