“A Pianist Who Bucks The Trend”

Marc-Andr Hamelin c. Nina Large6.jpg
Nice story/podcast from my friends at WQXR today lamenting the current state of the encore in classical music.  “It’s a failure of imagination and it’s a failure of artistic expression” huffs the critic from The Telegraph.

Chopin’s Nocturne in D flat, Op 27 N. 2, is wheeled out so often it’s a wonder the audience don’t sing along like the crowd at a rugby match. Traumerai, from Schumann’s Kinderszenen, I’ve heard so often it now has no more significance than elevator muzak. And as for [Liszt’s] La Campanella, if I never hear those bells again it will be too soon.

Then’s there’s this “cake-smasher” of Percy Grainger’s arrangement (kinda sorta) of “In Dahomey…”  If you can read music, follow along…if you dare!

 

 

 

C.P.E. Bach II: Hamelin Has At It

Here’s another keyboard delight from C.P.E. Bach, this time a live concert performance by pianist Marc-André Hamelin, he of the ferocious talent, and seemingly limitless repertoire and musical curiosity.    Check out the transition into the second movement at c. 6:00, where in the words of one of the YouTube commenters, “Dad walked in.”   And another reminder of what I find so appealing about J.S.’s second son:  How he, in the words of German musicologist Roman Hinke, “disregards all calls for an evenly balanced symmetry.”

Chopin, Remixed: Marc-Andre Hamelin Plays Leopold Godowsky

Time to mark the birthday of the “astonishing” Polish-American piano virtuoso Leopold Godowsky, (b. Feb. 13, 1870), author of some of the most famously difficult keyboard music in creation. Such as his utterly fascinating (and somewhat bizarre) arrangements/remixes of Chopin’s Etudes. And nobody in the world can pull them off quite like Marc-Andre Hamelin….enjoy, and be amazed!