The Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son has also on YouTube a concert recording of Mozart’s piano concerto nr 21, in which you could say a little of the same thing happens as here: She starts off almost perfect, and you think that she is too well-behaved, too tidy, you start saying sentences in your head like ‘there are possibilities in Mozart too’ for taking off, not only correct playing…and then suddenly something ignites and you don’t know what is happening anymore, which is of course where I want to be on any concert.
The sound of Rachmaninoff…it is also maybe a little unusual for my ear not to have the feeling all the time of a huge Russian choir, maybe male, in the ear, the Russian cliché which I think everybody loves. This piano sound gives a little the feeling of ivory instead of ebony, maybe, and the orchestra follows suit in their way, I think, I mean soundwise. It or the conductor has a really nice, elegant idea of the music, a little in the tenor vein, I think, which is fine. A little problem to follow the soloist some places, perhaps …it goes fast when it starts moving, she is running like a troika or more horses, forward, when the run starts. But the conductor and the orchestra manages to keep the idea of a neatly thought elegance, they give us or the leader small snaps with the whip which give us some unexpected glances of the landscape on our way through it.
This movement is the big problem of the concerto, I think, must be, musically too, not only technically. It’s…let me not say too much, but I don’t think I’ve heard it that many times really…fulfilled, blown up like it should be and like it is here.
When it comes to deep Russian voices, I guess this movement especially, is also different, at least big parts of it.
It is probably very difficult to play, that is one thing, and to get the energy come out of it like it is here too must demand a lot, and a lot of thinking. Much more complicated than concerto no 2, goes through a more diverse landscape, which is much more…plain Romantic, if one can say anything like that…I love it too.
Enough abbreviated clichés from my side. No 2 is beautiful, no 3 almost entertainment in the end in a pretty complicated way. Which is not meant as a condescending thing to say, entertainment is a profession in itself which I have tried myself a little, musically, and it is very much present a lot of places in «serious» music, quite often without being noticed by teachers, I think, and music writers, too, perhaps.
She plays in the beginning very well, of course, maybe like she knew what it was all about and could already cope with all those complicated problems from life or the world which are told in the score, and then suddenly it’s like the veil is torn between us and…the things we want to happen, or to know, and ritsch, you feel the music is suddenly alive, whatever that is, awakening, Heaven is close, it’s here, the solution to all those shitty difficulties and troubles, they are going away now, as we sit here and listen, and bloody well deserved and fun, the hall also explodes afterwards.
I sometimes feel a little guilty writing recensions like this because I know all the work that is necessary to make this performance and get all the way up there, and to sit on the side and criticize things which are already very well done…I don’t know. I hope it brings more people, listeners, to understand a little what is going on so they can enjoy it, not better, just enjoy it in their own way.
I always want more friends in the hall and on the pub afterwards, discussing the music and other stuff.
Edited after publishing.