Sébastien Giniaux is a marvellous french virtuoso guitarist. Absolutely brilliant. He plays all ‘the right notes’, does all the right timing, improvises with great imagination, knows exactly how to give the right feel to a piece and he incorporates in his compositions an interesting range of influences, varying from Balkan to Mali and from Classical to Gypsy Jazz/Jazz Manouche. This introduction to his latest album – ‘Mélodie des Choses’ – features some of his inspired playing with fellow musicians.
A big ‘Hurray’ for pianist Valentina Lisitsa!
What a musical triumph on Friday night 27 January 2012 in Haarlem, where Valentina played a recital. It was stunning-superb! In contrast to her recital in Delft on January 22nd – where she played on a terrible Yamaha – the stage in Haarlem offered far better conditions to help improve the performance and to stimulate Valentina to give her best. The Philharmonie in Haarlem had (from my position in the middle of its hall) good acoustics and Valentina played on a well prepared Steinway and – very crucial – one on which she had been practicing the past few days with good guidance of a piano technician. It paved the way to push Valentina to yet another extraordinary musical result. She played an astonishing programme, that covered many composers and a huge array of emotions: Beethoven’s Sonata No.26, Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Thalberg’s Grande Fantaisie Op.63, five Chopin Nocturnes and Liszt’s Totentanz.
Her touch ranged from the utmost delicacy to the most exuberant and extreme. In some pieces I heard an angelic poet (Schumann), in some a tempting siren (Chopin), in some a devilish lady with stainless steel in her mighty hands (like no one else really and totally amazing in the Totentanz!) and in yet other pieces all these musical powers greatly combined.
Throughout the evening the musical delivery was clearly articulated and expressed with subtlety in evry detail. The audience was spellbound and carried away by the eloquence of Valentina’s musical tale-telling, always interesting and alternating from sheer poetry to an amazing virtuosity that doesn’t look difficult for her.
There was a nice surprise at the beginning: because of Mozart’s birthday – on January 27th – Valentina started her recital with a brilliant execution of his Fantasia in C-minor, KV475. Then the programme unfolded as mentioned. The audience’s great enthusiasm (there was already a standing ovation before the break) was rewarded with three marvellous encores: first Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ (arranged by Liszt), then the charming Chopin Nocturne in E Flat Major Op.9, No.2 and Valentina ended with a mighty virtuoso-bravura piece: Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.12.
This was a night to remember. Wow!
(click on picture to enlarge)
An article on Friday 20 January 2012 about virtuoso classical pianist and YouTube-sensation Valentina Lisitsa in dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant. Valentina plays in The Netherlands, on Sunday 22 january 2012 in Delft and on Friday 27 January 2012 in Haarlem. The article in De Volkskrant shows that more and more big media finally begin to recognise what I (see my videos of Valentina on the web) and so many people on YouTube have known for years already… the unique stature and greatness of Valentina! 🙂
The LinkedIn-group that I run, Raga Unlimited, launched on 12 December 2008, has now 344 members. Anyone interested and registered on LinkedIn can join, that is, after (my) admission (don’t worry, there have been no refusals so far). A lot of knowledgeable people show up in the ranks. 37% works in the music industry and 16% is active in arts & design. In 2011 the group’s membership figure more than doubled, from 150 to 343, that’s an increase of 193 members in one year. Most people joined in May (28x), June (29x) and December (29x). Today, New Year’s Day 2012, I’ve already welcomed one more newbie, so we’re talking about a membership growth rate of 1 per day so far this year :).
Feel free to join if you’re interested.