....a roundup of Chopiniana: current news, views, reviews, recordings and performances in the runup to the 200th birthday of the matchless Polish keyboard composer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Chopin Currency - May 13, 2008

Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

Gilmore artist Ingrid Fliter, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra team up ...
Kalamazoo Gazette - MLive.com - Kalamazoo,MI,USA

The penultimate performance at the Gilmore Fest draws raves...

One might consider Mozart as Fliter's specialty -- until she played Chopin.

Chopin's "Concerto No. 2 in F Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 21," the evening's final work, offered Fliter the perfect vehicle for her numerous keyboard strengths. Here, she cultivated a different musical voice. Controlled rubato throughout lent effective freshness and variety. Fliter was born to perform Chopin.

Her runs at first sounded overly fast but not for long. Pianissimos were a favorite for Fliter, who possessed a magical light touch. Yet the opening "Maestoso" also could reflect intense drama.

"Larghetto" became a personal cadenza for Fliter, she massaged malleable passages into her personal vision of Chopin's intents. Runs were pearly smooth, and limitless technique helped master filigreed passages. The music here was mesmerizing.

The closing "Allegro Vivace" became a frolicking dance comprised of continuous runs soaring across the keyboard. The KSO kept pace, as baton deferred to soloist. A standing ovation and six callbacks from the audience only hints at the ardor felt for Fliter.

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Bill Holm named McKnight Distinguished Artist
Minnesota Public Radio - Saint Paul,MN,USA

Radio piece about Minnesota poet and essayist Bill Holm, $50,000 richer thanks to an award from the McKnight Foundation. The author reveals that his immediate plans include reconsidering (and mastering) Chopin:

Listen to feature audio

Holm also has a book of poetry about Iceland to finish. In fact, he said he has a goal of writing better poetry and improving his skills at the piano, particularly with the works of Bach.

"And I've started another project that pianists shouldn't avoid for too long, and that is trying to play Chopin decently. I used to make fun of Chopin, but now, the more I play him, the better he gets," said Holm. "He's an extraordinary genius. So I am going to see if I can play a half dozen Chopin pieces decently before I can't remember who Chopin was."

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....is a roundup of all things Chopin leading up to the 200th anniversary of the matchless Polish composer for the piano in March 2010.