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.
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin
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