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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Glamour meets Beethoven!

[about Khatia Buniatishvili, about the above piece]


  1. What a winderful way to start a new day wit hthis absolutely SCINTILLATING performance of Beethoven's first piano concerto!

    Always a delight bubbling over with merriment, mischief and high glee THIS performance is especially distinguished for its nearly incredible brilliance.

    I've studied this piece myself. It,–– like most of Beethoven's piano works –– is especially dear to me, but I have to admit I have never heard anyone play the last movement at such breathtaking speed.

    It's so fast it almost overshoots the mark. Beethoven only asks for Allegro con brio, but Buniatishviii pushes it well into the Presto con fuoco range –– and miraculously she makes it work. Her techique is so superior she can play anything at any speed that strikes her fancy. Very few of us pianists –– even most of the great ones crm the past –– could sustain tempos like these and not break down somewhere aiong the line. What we hear in this performance is quite uncanny.

    Bunatiistishvili is a SUPER-virtuoso. That is both a blessng and a curse, for I have heard her do terrible things major works of Chopn, because she plays them TOO fast, and TOO freely. The result is a loss of the aristocratic poise and elegance inherent in even Chopin's wildest creations.

    She often exemplifies the adage, "Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD."

    THIS Beethoven, however, is just marvelous. I disliked only the cadenza to the first movement, because she rushed through it at such breakneck speed it lost power and sounded merely like a mad dash to the finish line. The REST of the concerto, however, was superbly under control. I think we must give the conductor a good deal of the credit for that. He shaped and paced the piece masterfully and kept it from running away into a savage state of sheer madness, bless his heart!

    I have to say too that I was forced to keep my eyes SHUT most of the time in order to avoid letting Buniatishvili's luscious, voluptuous figure distract me from Beethoven's music. Frankly, her dress was so revealing she might as well have performed stark naked.

    Clearly the incredibly gifted, magnificently well-endowed young lady believes, "If you've GOT it, you ought to FLAUNT it. };^)>

  2. Replies
    1. The left one or the right one, Kid?


      Sorry! I just couldn't resist.

    2. Just for the record:

      I like 'em BOTH!


  3. What Franco said. But I enjoyed it too, even with my eyes open. :)

  4. In case anyone is interested in plumbing the depths of this work by making comparisons, here's a link to a perfomance of Beethoven, Opus 15 (thissame concerto) I like a good deal better:

    Leonard Bernstein in his prime conducting the Vienna Philharmonic from the piano in 1970.


    Bernstein really was the most remarkable protean figure in the music in the twentieth century music world. There was literally nothing he could not do superbly in the field –– conductor, pianist, composer of both serious music, opera and Broadway Shows.

    To say the guy ws brilliant would be a vaxt understatement.

    If you were lucky enough –– as I was __ to experience his Young People's Concerts at Carnegie Hall in the 1950's, you would realize that on top of everyhng else his greatest gift was probably that of a TEACHER. His comments during these concerts were never less than illuminating, and have served as a astimulant and great inspiration to me for the past sixty years.

    Comparisins are said to be odious, but I, –– as a person who has had a lifelong passion for and special interest in music ––, find examinung the many varied ways different artists interpret great works always worthwhile and endlessly fascinating.

    I would wish the same for everyone.

  5. Replies
    1. Joe,

      BTW, I bought an Alexa Dot for Christmas. Clever device! Right now, she is playing music by Henry Mancini. 🙂


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