Eros Piano, a work by John Adams, is such a delightful piece. If I were a concert pianist it would be part of my repertory for sure! 🙂 YouTube offers only one performance of Eros Piano, the one here above, played by pianist Jay Gottlieb with L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris conducted by John Nelson.
Composer John Adams wrote the work – almost a small piano concerto in one movement – in memory of two of his composer heroes, Morton Feldman and Toru Takemitsu. About the music Adams wrote that it’s “a quiet, dreamy soliloquy for piano, played against a soft, lush fabric of orchestral screens and clusters. It was a direct response on my part to a piece by Toru Takemitsu, riverrun, that I had heard in a performance by the English pianist Paul Crossley. (..) I wrote Eros Piano as a tribute to Takemitsu, to Bill Evans, and also to Paul Crossley, whose exquisitly balanced sense of color and attack in music by Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen and Takemitsu reminded me so strongly of that of Bill Evans.”
Pianist Jay Gottlieb with L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris conducted by John Nelson deliver an enjoyable and admirable performance, but is that enough? Do they reveal the work’s sophisticated soul? I think I’ve heard better in another performance, a well known one, played by pianist Paul Crossley with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s/The London Sinfonietta, conducted by composer John Adams himself and available on the album American Elegies (1991). In my opinion Crossley, Adams and the London Sinfonietta are more convincing in revealing the work’s pleasurable sensuousness and this comes across in many wonderful tonal colours and in their highly sophisticated outline of the work’s dynamics.
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.
promotiefilmpje voor het Royal Albert Hall-concert op 19 juni 2012
Vanaf het moment dat ik enkele jaren geleden met Valentina kennismaakte – zie mijn bijdragen op YouTube en op mijn weblog – heb ik geen moment getwijfeld dat haar ster naar de hoogste platforms zou reiken. Het wonderlijke is wel, voor ieder die haar muzikale verrichtingen goed heeft gevolgd, dat de gang naar het grote succes nog zo lang op zich liet wachten, maar ach, over een paar jaar heeft niemand het daar nog over. 🙂
een door mij gemaakte Valentina Lisitsa promo-video van voorjaar 2010
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!
Below four pictures I took of pianist/keyboardplayer Zoe Rahman at Roots Open Air 2009 in Amsterdam, while she was playing with the band of Natacha Atlas. Only recently I found out she’s also a very good jazz pianist, making her own music, beautiful music! She’s Irish with Bengali cultural and family roots, a mixed background which fits her nicely – I think – in Natacha Atlas’s band 🙂 Below also three YouTube-videos of the Zoe Rahman Trio, featuring in two of the clips Zoe’s brother Idris, who does the beautiful sensuous clarinet playing.