Faculty Concert - IKIF

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Donald Isler
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Faculty Concert - IKIF

Post by Donald Isler » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:33 pm

Faculty Concert - IKIF
17th International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Hunter College
July 27th, 2015

Scriabin: Prelude in B Major, Op. 16, No. 1
Scriabin: Prelude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 22, No. 1
Scriabin: Impromptu in B-Flat Minor, Op. 12, No. 2
Scriabin: Étude in F-Sharp Major, Op. 42, No. 3
Scriabin: Étude in D-Sharp Minor, Op. 8, No. 12
Dmitry Rachmanov

Chopin: Nocturne in D-Flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2
Chopin: Nocturne in F-Sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2
Chopin: Mazurka in C Major, Op. 24, No. 2
Chopin: Mazurka in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 50, No. 3
Chopin: Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 59, No. 1
Chopin: Mazurka in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 59, No. 3
Chopin: Mazurka in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 63, No. 3
Nina Lelchuk

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 in C-Sharp Minor
Mykola Suk

Albeniz: Iberia, Book III
Rondeña
Evocación
Triana
José Ramos Santana

Mason: Silver Spring
Bernstein: The Masque from “Age of Anxiety”
Dixieland Jazz Band: Hold That Tiger
Steven Mayer

Messiaen: Vision de l’Amen
V. Amen des Anges, des saints, du chant des oiseaux
Gabriele Leporatti, Gesa Luecker

Bizet/M. Wilberg: Fantasy on Themes from Carmen for 2 Pianos, 8 Hands
Gabriele Leporatti, Gesa Luecker, Claire Huangci, Eduard Zilberkant


Last night’s program began with a disappointment, as well as a pleasant surprise. The disappointment was that Yuan Sheng would not be appearing. I had been looking forward to hearing him play a Bach Partita, as he is a wonderful Bach pianist. The pleasant surprise was that his place was taken by Dmitry Rachmanov, who performed a Scriabin group. Mr. Rachmanov is known for his performances of that composer, and, indeed, I heard him play an all-Scriabin recital last season at Zankel Hall. His playing of this music was very cultured and refined, yet strong, and always convincing.

Nina Lelchuk, as one could tell from the audience reaction, is a highly respected pianist and teacher. She is an assertive and idiomatic Chopin player. Her performances of the first and last Mazurkas were particularly fine.

Mykola Suk is a very individual pianist who reminds me, in some ways of Robert Goldsand. He has unusual ideas about pacing, and played parts of the 12th Hungarian Rhapsody of Liszt at remarkably slow tempi, yet got the piano to “roar,” and produced great excitement at climaxes.

José Ramos Santana gave a warm, elegant and loving performance of the three works from Iberia. One wonders if the atmosphere of a country could be expressed any better than that of Spain in this work?

I always get a kick out of Steven Mayer’s performances because of his innate musicality, combined with terrific technique and a high energy level. The lovely, flowing Silver Spring gave way to the jazzy (sarcastic? neurotic?) Masque from Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety and that, in turn, led to Hold That Tiger, which was a wonderful romp. If Mykola Suk reminds me in some ways of Robert Goldsand, Steven Mayer makes me think of Earl Wild, in whom virtuosity, popular themes and high culture all came together.

Gesa Luecker and Gabriele Leporatti gave a performance of the Messiaen work which was spiritual yet intense, and exotic, with beautiful, subtle shadings.

The final work on the program was the Wilberg arrangement of Themes from Carmen, played by Ms. Luecker and Mr. Leporatti, plus Claire Huangci and Eduard Zilberkant. With some added harmonies, it was played with great spirit and energy, and the ensemble was excellent. Perhaps the only way to hear this music with even more strength and electricity would be to hear the recording of Horowitz playing his own transcription at the famous Carnegie Hall televised concert!

Donald Isler
Donald Isler

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Re: Faculty Concert - IKIF

Post by Lance » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:02 pm

What a lineup! You must have been in your glory. It's events like this that truly make me miss NYC!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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