Monday, September 26, 2011

I just got back from a piano recital in which Dutch pianist Vincent van Gelder performed four works for a fairly small audience. Here is what he played:

Franz Liszt

Sonata in b minor

Alberto Ginastera

Sonata No. 1, Op. 22
I. Allegro marcato

II. Presto misterioso

III. Adagio molto appassionato

IV. Ruvideo ed ostinato

John Corgiliano

Fantasia on an Ostinato

Vincent van Gelder

Fantasy on the "Dance of the Miller" (after the orchestral work by Manuel de Falla)

He was an incredible pianist, but to be honest, I didn't care much for the pieces. I'd never heard Liszt's sonata in its entirety before, and it was quite surprising. Powerful, mysterious, and kind of distant. The next piece was a conglomeration of many different sounds and styles, or at least that's how it seemed to me at the time. I think I liked the second movement the most. "Fantasy on an Ostinato" was definitely the most strange... it had a serious case of wanderlust. I couldn't follow it, and found the strange empty spaces in between the notes to be a little disconcerting. Still, I heard Beethoven's Seventh Symphony quoted in the left hand near the end!! Of course, while the fateful notes were played the right hand was completely off in its own world. It was an interesting piece, to say the least. The last piece was quite impressive, but I think I'd have preferred to hear the full work first.

Okay, enough of this.

I played Chopin's Nocturne in B-flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1 (which I taught myself) yesterday in class and afterwards this guy came up to me and said he really liked the way I played the piece, and that he loves Chopin and is learning the Op. 15, No. 3 Nocturne. He was soooo cute... he looked a bit like Harry Potter, but even better. I keep going over the conversation we had in my head and I definitely feel like I sounded like an idiot. He kept asking me what pieces I was working on and I literally could not summon up any of the names of what I was learning. I said a Beethoven sonata, and like Ravel, even though I'm not really even doing those anymore. I told him I don't really like playing Beethoven as much as listening to it, and I went into talking about this recording I have of the Beethoven sonatas by Maria Grinberg (I have no idea why!) and he just looked at me weirdly. I have this problem of smiling every time I talk when I'm nervous and it is so annoying, but I really can't help it. I should have said how I'm learning Brahms' First Rhapsody... oh well :( I really wish I could do that whole thing over.

Here is the piece he is working on, Chopin's Nocturne in G minor, Op. 15, No. 3. It seems to be an overlooked piece, but I have no idea why because it is so lovely.


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