I went to practice piano this morning and saw flyers for a noon performance, so I went. Stan (very funny guy from my piano ensemble class) was playing Chopin’s famous ‘Heroic’ Polonaise, and a freshman named Jayme was singing ‘O mio babbino caro’ and ‘Think of Me’ (from Phantom of the Opera). They were both really good. I don’t think I ever realized before how difficult a piece the Chopin polonaise is. When you hear recordings they all sound light and pretty, but watching Stan’s hands fly over the keyboard (and, actually, hearing him miss a lot of notes… which is not the no-no we tend to think of it as, btw; people understand that it’s just not humanly possible to get every note) I began to see just how fiendish an undertaking it is. And Stan was doing this on his own, without the guidance of a piano teacher or organization or anything. I’m very impressed. And actually, I’m listening to a recording right now by the famous late pianist (and Dorit’s relative!) Artur Rubinstein, and I think I like Stan’s interpretation better. It had more fire. Maybe that’s because Stan is, what, 20 or something, and this was Rubinstein’s last ever public concert, when he was already quite old. But I am once again reminded that really, I’d rather hear a pretty-good live performance than a highly-acclaimed recording, anytime.
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]