22. July 2011 · Comments Off on Do We Kiss Play & Tell? · Categories: Reviews, Videos

These days many performers in classical music speak to audiences to share insights and stories. But it is not often that an artist disavows a performance he has just given.

This happened on Wednesday night at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College the New School for Music, when the noted French-Cypriot pianist Cyprien Katsaris finished a ballistic account of Chopin’s “Military” Polonaise.

The bushy-haired Mr. Katsaris, 60, warned the many aspiring pianists in the audience never to offer an “ignominious” performance like the one he had just given for an exam or a competition; otherwise “the jury will ——,” he said, going silent. Then he made a gesture to slice his throat with his right hand. The audience laughed and applauded.

-Anthony Tommasini


So what do you think? Is it okay to do this? What if the audience thought it was wonderful? Are we ruining their enjoyment of a concert? Do we need to enlighten them, or is that ungracious and/or unnecessary? Or could it be that it so bad that he knew a reviewer would “have at it” and this sort of preempted that little problem? Oooh … I like that! I mean … we make a boo boo. So who cares? And if WE call ourselves out on it first it sort of steals the thunder from the reviewer. Hah!

I couldn’t find a video of him playing the Military so here’s this instead:

And since the article also mentions his improvisation:

… and yes, I will now confess I had never heard of Mr. Katsaris before.

22. July 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

The Nonesuch record label is releasing a recording of Steve Reich’s commemorative piece “WTC 9/11? on September 6, 2011. The piece is written for three string quartets, and is performed on the recording by the Kronos Quartet (making use of multiple tracking). It also features recorded voices—of air-traffic controllers, witnesses, mourners, and others.

But what’s making waves in the classical community is the album’s cover art, which features a darkened version of a photograph, taken by Masatomo Kuriya, of the moment before the second plane hit the second tower. On the one hand, the photograph is, as Nonesuch writes, “indelible.” But commenters below that post describe it as “pitifully ham-fisted,” “despicably exploitative,” “shoddy,” and even “the first truly despicable classical album cover that I have ever seen.”

You can see the artwork by going to this link, which is where the above quote was found.

So what do you think? Was the album cover in poor taste? Have we had similar artwork of anything from other horrors and atrocities?

I cringe when I see the photo. But I’m not sure if that means it’s wrong to use it. Hmm. But what if a family member of mine was in that plane or in one of the buildings? Or how about if someone wrote a requiem for a person who died in a house fire and the album cover was of that very house on fire, with the person inside? What if a work was written for a murder victim and someone had a photo of him being murdered and that became the cover art for the album? I could go on — I did, in fact, but I thought it in poor taste to put what I had written up here so I deleted it.

Okay. I think I know where I stand now. I just needed to ponder … in writing ….

22. July 2011 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

first private oboe lesson.. im beyond excited!!!:):):):)

22. July 2011 · Comments Off on BachTrac™ · Categories: BachTrac™ · Tags:

Toccata, Adagio en Fuga in C gr.t., BWV 564
Aart Bergwerff, organ; Marije Nie, dancer

(Patience … it takes a while ….)

22. July 2011 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

if it wasn’t for peter and the wolf nobody would know what an oboe is either

22. July 2011 · Comments Off on Kalevi Aho: Oboe Concerto · Categories: Oboe

Until early August you can watch and listen to Aho’s Oboe Concerto for free. Or so I’ve read. I’ve yet to try it out, but I do hope to do so soon.

Here’s a bit of it from YouTube: