From Sunday June 3rd until Friday June 8th, YouTube’s most popular classical pianist, Valentina Lisitsa, is once more streaming her rehearsals LIVE via her Ustream-channel. To watch click here.
Valentina Lisitsa’s rehearsing is a not-to-be missed event for anyone with a serious interest in classical piano playing. From her home in North Carolina Valentina is rehearsing the scheduled programme of her upcoming Royal Albert Hall concert. She’s done this before and up till now she’s the only classical musician that I know of who’s sharing this preparation process in a live event for a worldwide audience. This is really fascinating and a unique opportunity to witness Valentina Lisitsa getting prepared for this major event on June 19th in London.
A picture I took of Valentina after her recital in Haarlem
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.
The Steinway that was put to the test by Valentina. Afterwards the instrument was diagnosed with PTS-syndrome, due to its peak-experiences on ‘1/27’ 🙂
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!
Here’s my not-to-be-missed latest YouTube-report with brilliant pianist Valentina Lisitsa talking about and playing the Rachmaninoff / Warenberg “5th” Concerto. Check it out and let me know what you think.
The complete raw footage of Valentina’s playing of Rachmaninoff / Warenberg in Amsterdam
On August 17th, 18th and 19th 2010 I attended in the Beethovensaal in Hannover Valentina Lisitsa’s rehearsal (17th) and recording sessions (18th and 19th) of the 24 Etudes of Chopin. While a live-webstream was running during Valentina’s playing and Alexei (Valentina’s husband) was putting it on his cameras, I did some webhosting and on the 17th I also filmed some of the rehearsing.
In the upstairs studio there was producer Michael Fine, assisted by Tammy Fine and sound engineer Wolf-Dieter Karwatky.
Valentina and producer Michael Fine
Alexei (Valentina’s husband), Valentina and producer Michael Fine
Valentina played on a veery beautiful Steinway D Hamburg, prepared and taken care off by piano technician Gerd Finkenstein.
Valentina in the Beethovensaal in Hannover
The 24 Etudes were played by Valentina with great artistic depth and a deep understanding of Chopin. There were tiny details and truly magnificent colours that I had not heard before in her playing of the Etudes. Truly amazing!
Me and Valentina during a coffee break
Valentina and the whole crew really loved the wonderful response from the livestream webcast’s visitors.
Right after finishing the recordings Valentina takes a look into the chatroom and starts chatting
As soon as Valentina had finished Op.25-12 she switched to another keyboard and entered the chatroom for a final talk with the viewers and ‘followers’. Big Fun for evryone ! 🙂
On August 7th, 2010, I’ve published two new videos on my YouTubechannel with another 18 minutes of some exquisite playing by Valentina Lisitsa, filmed by me in London, Abbey Road Studios, December 6th, 2009.
It’s some of my footage of Valentina doing solo take recordings of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.4, as part of her Rachmaninoff Project with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), conducted by Michael Francis and produced by Michael Fine.
For this project with the LSO – that’s bound for release by the end of 2010 – Valentina recorded at the Abbey Road Studios in London Rachmaninoff’s four piano concertos and Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Variations in September 2009 (piano concerti 1 and 2), in December 2009 (piano concerti 3 and 4) and in March 2010 (Paganini Variations).
If you like Rachmaninoff you can’t afford missing Valentina’s exquisite, brilliant, electrifying and delicate ‘Rachy touch’. Listen and enjoy! 🙂
I don’t think any of the world’s best classical pianists has ever done this… but she does. Out of loyalty and gratitude to her worldwide following Valentina Lisitsa is running a live webcam inside her practice studio at home until the 4th of July (midnight to be exact).
Buffy, one of Valentina’s cats, joined in at some point and started a piano duet… what a treat! 🙂
The use of technology to connect with an audience, like no other pianist Valentina Lisitsa knows how to do this. Her live-rehearsals involve working on recital and concert programmes that she has to perform next month. The number of pieces she’s working on in these rehearsals: 55 ! That’s FIFTY-FIVE, yes, and more than half of the material is Continue reading →
Valentina Lisitsa plays the theme of the Rachmaninoff/Warenberg ‘5th’ Piano Concerto’s 2nd movement, recorded in Amsterdam. A very beautiful interpretation, that imho combines and fuses a poetic delicacy with soulful temperament and powerful passion that only Valentina can bring out to the listener. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her playing here as much as I do.
This piano concerto is an arrangement by Alexander Warenberg of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Symphony. The recording presented here is used with permission and part of video-material shot by Alexei Kuznetsoff (Valentina’s husband) in Amsterdam, May 2010, that features Valentina playing piano solo parts of the Rachmaninoff/Warenberg Piano Concerto #5.
Valentina was performing in The Netherlands in May 2010. On 29 May 2010 I did a video-interview with Valentina in Rotterdam on the Rachmaninoff/Warenberg 5th Piano Concerto after she played the concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra on 28 May 2010.
Me and Valentina after the interview in Rotterdam
I will present this interview in a video-report later on this year combined with the video-material, shot in Amsterdam, of Valentina playing piano solo parts of the ‘5th’ concerto.