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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 8:33 pm
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Location: Chicago
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


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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:18 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:23 am 
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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).


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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote:
I've always had reservations about his sound, finding it a bit monochromatic.


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 :( )

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:06 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:08 pm 
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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!

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Quote:
I have always considered Kissin, together with Pogorelich, not as a pianist, but as an acrobat.


Maybe they're focusing too much on their hair :P

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Location: Chicago
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

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:13 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
I have always considered Kissin, together with Pogorelich, not as a pianist, but as an acrobat.

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.)

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:07 am 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:30 am 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
pianolady wrote:
Aw you guys, I wish you could have heard him play. I really can't see how it can get any better than that!

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.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:44 am 
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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!

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:57 am 
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musical-md wrote:
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!

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

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:31 am 
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hanysz wrote:
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.


Just as I say! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:36 am 
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Location: Germany
techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
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!

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

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.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:44 am 
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hyenal wrote:
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.

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.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:48 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Just as I say! :D

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.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:24 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:20 pm 
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hanysz wrote:

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.

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.

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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
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!

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

Well said! Thanks for the correction and id.

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Evgeny Kissin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:33 pm 
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I have just read this in Wikipedia:

Quote:
At the age of 11 months, he was reputedly able to hum along to a Bach fugue his sister Alla was playing on the piano.


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

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