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Evgeny Kissin

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

  1. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    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.
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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!
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That would be Nobuyuki Tsujii, the Japanese blind pianist. Yes he is nothing short of a miracle.
     
  4. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Just as I say! :D
     
  5. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    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.
     
  7. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    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.
     
  8. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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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.
     
  9. pianolady

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

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    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.
     
  10. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Well said! Thanks for the correction and id.
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I have just read this in Wikipedia:

    I remember my daughter humming along a Scarlatti sonata I was playing when she was 4 or 5 months old.
     

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