De jonge Bulgaarse pianist Evgeni Bozhanov (geb. 1984) speelt prachtig. Velen, waaronder ikzelf, leerden hem kennen dankzij z’n wondermooie spel tijdens prestigieuze pianoconcoursen. In 2010 toonde hij z’n topkwaliteiten met het behalen van de tweede prijs op de Koningin Elisabeth Wedstrijd en op het Chopin Concours in Warschau werd hij zeer verdienstelijk vierde. Z’n interpretaties zijn heel bijzonder en tonen z’n grote muzikale persoonlijkheid.
Evgeny Bozhanov speelt Sonetto del Petrarca van Franz Liszt
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!
A couple of days ago – on 18 December – Valentina Lisitsa published on her YouTubechannel a wonderful performance of Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’, transcribed for piano by Liszt. In the comment on her video Valentina made this suggestion: “If you feel creative, please go ahead and make better visuals – or just use it as a soundtrack for a self-made Christmas card (..).” As I was planning to make a Christmas & New Year-video, I took my chance and combined Valentina’s awesome playing with some footage that I thought would fit in nicely and so on the evening of Thursday 22 December I made this video… and oh, don’t forget to play in HD. 🙂
This superb electrifying performance has now over 500.000 views and shows Valentina Lisitsa’s deep connection with Liszt’s Totentanz. Total control and commitment combine in the best way and Valentina’s performance is unmatched in its display of musical brilliance. Videos on her YT-channel now have over 28 million views! Subscribers: more than 34.000. Very telling!
Some stunning playing in this blog by Valentina Lisitsa. Two recordings of the cadenza in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #1: first a solotake filmed by me, then another take of this cadenza – filmed by Val’s husband Alexei Kuznetsoff and at that point with the LSO around 🙂 Both takes filmed at Abbey Road Studios, London, September 2009.
In December 2010 Valentina plays the Rachmaninoff piano concerto #1 twice in Germany with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste: in Duisburg on 9 December and in Köln on 10 December.
An exquisite solotake – filmed by me – of the cadenza in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.1
And another exquisite take – filmed by Alexei, and now ’rounded’ by the LSO at start and finish 🙂 – of the cadenza in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.1
On November 14th, 2010, VPRO television’s sunday morning music programme Vrije Geluiden features classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa. I was at the set in the BIMhuis in Amsterdam and before and after the shooting of her playing and interview I took a few pictures that I present in my YouTubevideo above, a video on my YouTubechannel. In my video I combined my photos of Valentina with her playing of the Rachmaninoff/Warenberg Concerto’s second movement theme, a recording that was also made in Amsterdam, in May 2010. In Vrije Geluiden Valentina plays other not to be missed music by Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op.32,no.5, Etude Tableau Op.39, No.6 and Prelude Op.32, no.12. So don’t miss VPRO’s Vrije Geluiden on 14 November 2010, featuring Valentina Lisitsa, Nederland 1, 10.30 AM (dutch time). Extra information for non-dutch people: Vrije Geluiden is Holland’s weekly tv show for ‘serious music’, featuring the best artists and all kinds of great music in the realms of jazz, classical and world music. The recordings – so, also Valentina’s performance and interview – will be published not long after the broadcast on the website of Vrije Geluiden and on Vrije Geluiden’s YouTubechannel.
OMG… Valentina in a coffin! Click on the picture above to enlarge
So, if you dare… on 31 October 2010 things get ‘scary’ in the Waag in Leiden when ‘spookish’ classical compositions will be played by daredevil-pianist Valentina Lisitsa in a HALLOWEENCONCERT! Tickets can still be ordered via Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden.
One of the pieces Valentina will be playing at the Halloweenconcert is the solo piano version of Liszt’s sensational Totentanz…
Halloweenconcert’s programme (click on picture above to enlarge)