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Evgeny Kissin

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

  1. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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

    bclever New Member

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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. :)
     
  4. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    And still is. :lol:
     
  5. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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

    Regardless, she died in mid 90's.
     
  6. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  8. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  11. liszt1970

    liszt1970 New Member

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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
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  13. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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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).
     
  14. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    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 :( )
     
  15. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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!
     
  17. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Maybe they're focusing too much on their hair :p
     
  18. liszt1970

    liszt1970 New Member

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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.

    AD
     
  19. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.)
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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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