I saw him play a concert today. Although I have, of course, heard his name before, I never heard him play before. I’m glad I can now say that I have. It was a nice concert. His program was as follows:
Mozart – Fantasia in D Minor, K.397
Schubert – Four Impromptus, D. 899
Chopin – all four Ballades
The Mozart and the four Schubert pieces were in the first half of the concert. I think the Mozart was perfect. Also the Schubert. I like the no. 2 Impromptu and boy did he have fast fingers. All those many, many runs, chromatic passages, and arpeggios were so clean and fast. Wow!
The second half of his concert was all Chopin. Great!!! Regarding the first Ballade – I liked Feltsman’s interpretation. He brought out some notes I never considered doing whenever I have played (or tried to play) this piece. I think that is really neat. He did the same thing on the no. 3 Ballade. And the end – you know how exciting it gets there - and it felt like everyone in the audience was holding their breath. But before I go any further, I have to say that the audience learned earlier in the first half of the concert not to clap in the middle of a set – i.e. the Schubert Impromptus. Well, at the end of the Chopin no. 3 Ballade, everyone was so thrilled at how well he played that someone let out a loud “Whoa” or a “Wow” or something like that and you could actually hear lots of loud exhaling – also some laughs when Feltsman glanced into the audience with his index finger raised, warning everyone not to clap yet – there’s one more Ballade to come…. The no. 4 Ballade was breathtaking. Really! Just wonderful!!
He played only two encores, but they were both Chopin so that’s okay
. They were both Waltzes, the first being Waltz in f minor, Op. 70, no. 2. But he melded the end of it right into Waltz in C-sharp minor, Op. 64, no. 2. That was neat.
Overall, I was very impressed with Feltsman’s playing. Yes, I heard a couple slips, but they were tiny and insignificant. He certainly knows how to bring out many tones and colors on the piano, and his interpretations were fresh and interesting without being ‘weird’. He wore a black suit with the jacket having a Mandarin collar buttoned all the way up – no shirt or tie underneath.
Did I leave anything out, Brian? (I saw you there)