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Evgeny Kissin

Discussion in 'Pianists' started by pianolady, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  2. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    > 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
     
  4. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  6. bclever

    bclever New Member

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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.
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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)
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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?
     
  9. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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. :)
     
  11. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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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!
     
  12. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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
     
  14. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  15. bclever

    bclever New Member

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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.
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Can I come?

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

    bclever New Member

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    Shameless. :)
     
  18. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    He reminds me a little bit of Tom Hanks in the movie "Big".
     
  19. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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)?
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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

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