Which pianists would you travel to see?

Respec. But how can she not be someone’s type? You saw that dress she wore, right?

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Yes, but maybe this isn’t “her” composers. Wang’s musical character is very “whole”, for lack of a better word. I don’t think she identifies with, or can express well, music which falls in the :sunglasses: category as it were.

God this was difficult.

I respect her not liking Alkan.

I don’t respect her calling his music superficial and lacking in meaningful emotion.

It’s just a very hollow headed argument made for anyone who doesn’t resonate with any virtuoso composer to call them a mere ‘note spinner’.

She should know better because her own playing will have been critiqued in the same way…when it’s fast and someone doesn’t like it - not only do they express disliking it but they erroneously surmise that anyone who DOES like it only does so because of the flying fast fingers.

I’m gonna go part :tm: and say she has practically a boy’s body (from the waist up).

Oh, and her face is a peculiar shape.

Yeah, that is very true - and also why I wondered how much she had heard.

But for whatever reason Alkan always has been an outsider, and I think you need to have something of that outsider gene yourself to fully appreciate him too. His is not the music of balance, proportion, health and everyday sensations - it’s voracious, eccentric, drawing from within, and isn’t afraid to go in to extremes, excess, irony and caricature. I love it, but I can see how there are people - perhaps even a majority of people - who have problems with it.

Truly, imo, the Kansymph is one of the great works and achievements of the romantic piano era, and I can’t understand how someone can’t appreciate the excitement of the finale, even superficially.

Yeah I somehow get the feeling her opinion is second hand - she didn’t delve much herself and just was told that from her circle of advisers. Shame she can’t have an independent mind of her own.

The whole opus is. I hold the concerto even higher, and love you two guys comme & festin as well, and just about every other etude in there too.

The Symphony is a darker work, the fury in it is painful and tragic.

The Concerto on the other hand is the most joyously furious work in the repertoire - it never feels like a dark fury, it’s demonic and furious for sure but it’s gleeful.
The central movement however is like the Symphony - darker.
The finale is the most blistering work in the repertoire - and it does something Alkan is a master of - a moist ‘melodic’ section whilst still maintaining torrents of notes…That choral melodic section with the buzzing trills in the opposing hand.

The Sonatine is an interesting later work, it’s almost Alkan parodying himself.
The finale in particular is very wild and bipolar - such a sweet melody contrasted with immense brutality, and the ending is the most violent in all Alkan.

I find the concerto a bit dry tbh. Very interesting things in it, of course.

With YW, sometimes I wonder if she’s one of those people who have an unusual facility, but that facility tends to simultaneously preclude great musical depth.

Yes, the drawback is just that there is so comparatively little after all for having lived such a long life. I think Gibbons and Hamelin’s 1st Hyperion CD pretty much sums it up. The rest I’ve played through with him isn’t that interesting. Well, a few more things, the da cameras, trois petites etc.

The Cello Sonata is outstanding also!

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True. And the grand duo concertante!

She’s not that kind of musician. My current view of her at least is that she’s not naturally inclined to the big romantic works, but works much better in modern music for instance where emotion is largely out of the picture and she can let her instinct and sound musical judgement do the talking. Even the Kreisleriana, which I thought she nailed, she played like that rather than infusing it with emotion or strong expressive qualities (and thank god for that because when she tries, as with the Chopin Preludes, I think she fails).

Interesting you should say that, because I incline to the opinion that Alkan is chronologically of the romantic era, but musically he isn’t - he’s both before it and after it.

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…yeah. Or something. I at least subscribe to that his music isn’t romantic in the sense Chopin’s and Liszt’s are.

Before is tricky, you mean with form and classical restraint? The Sonatine etc?

Which performance of hers is your favourite? The two I heard were almost laughably dull and characterless.

Carnegie 2016

Oh, the video one? That’s the one I listened to. Didn’t do it for me.