One of my secret passions is solo piano music. It also is a neglected one since I spend most of my time attending operas, our own or when I travel. So after a day of meetings in New York yesterday I felt really lucky to be able to go to Carnegie Hall for Mitsuko Uchida's solo recital. She's been my favourite active pianist for many years (if you need evidence just listen to her recordings of Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 23 and 24 or Beethoven's last three Piano Sonatas), but I had never heard her in concert. Let me just say that it was more than worth the wait. The insight and musicianship she brought to a difficult program (Beethoven: Sonata No. 27, Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Chopin: Sonata No. 3) was simply breathtaking. I can't think of anybody else who explores the dynamic regions of p, pp, ppp etc. on with greater nuance and intensity so that you could feel the whole huge auditorium of Carnegie Hall holding their breath. A profoundly satisfying evening.
I will be back in Toronto for the cinecast of Nixon in China from the Met and our own performance of The Magic Flute.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (3) / permalink
I wouldn't have thought that I'd ever find myself commenting on a Met cinecast here, but Russell Braun's performance as Chou En-lai in today's broadcast of Nixon in China was so exceptional that I just have to. This was the most intense and moving performance I've seen him give. The beauty of the voice, the impeccable musicianship were there as always, but how he inhabited the character of Chou opened up an additional dimension. The final close-up will stay with me for a long time. Thank you, Russell.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Cinecast / comments (3) / permalink
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Canadian Immersion / comments (2) / permalink
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