IKIF (Saturday)

July 25, 2009

While there’s some doubt whether Yoni Levyatov is really mad, there’s no doubt about Dubal. He’s a hurricane in his Master Class. The kids weather the storm and even relish it. Its something to see.

Alon Goldstein plays an early Brahms Scherzo (Op. 4). I like young Brahms’ abstract Romantic genius. It scrubs the brain in a pleasing way. Goldstein pleases the crowd with Ginastera dances. In a brilliant touch, he encores quietly with Bach ‘Joy of Man.’ A communal moment of palpable love in the concert hall. ‘A good night,’ says my friend.

My week one pass is used up. Next week I’ll do Master Classes.

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IKIF (Friday)

July 24, 2009

Leporatti wants to play in F-sharp minor, Brahms and Schumann Sonatas. I like both of these pieces, the Schumann is strangely one of my favorites. It sounds to me like Schumann is trapped inside his psyche and trying to find a way out. Its best for listening by the window in winter during a snowstorm, with a cup of tea for comfort.

Mykola Suk plays the Dante Sonata, which I like better than the overplayed ‘Liszt Sonata.’ He plays the ‘Moonlight.’ I’d rather hear Op. 27, No. 1 than No. 2. But at least the Moonlight is played now and then. I’ve never heard the Grand Sonata in C minor (Pathetique) in a recital. Except once in a Beethoven Cycle. Is it stigmatized as ‘popular’?

Suk is still one of my very favorite, most beloved musicians.

IKIF (Thursday)

July 23, 2009

Six o’clock. Levyatov. Wow. For the first time, I get how great a piece the Carnaval is. To me, Levyatov is a very special artist. Young as he is, I feel privileged to be at his recital. The whole experience feels rare, fragile and extraordinary. During the Schumann, he gives the impression of a madman. I don’t know if Levyatov really is mad, or he’s putting us on, or if he ‘becomes Schumann’ to play the Carnaval. I do know he casts a spell.

I haven’t heard any other young pianist create such beauty. Au bord d’une source — when the day comes and they read me my last rites, this is the music I want in my ears as I leave the earth. Levyatov plays Liszt like God’s grace, the doorway from life to spirit.

At 8:30, a fully requitted love affair between Joaquin Achucarro and his audience. It’s just been an outstanding musical day.