Sunday, March 11, 2007

Back Bay's Bonus Twilight Hour ...

This was a sweet city evening with unnaturally long 6:30 shadows and 50 heartwarming degrees. Result: Spring fever with a nice little twist of strangeness.

I'd just heard pianist Eric Sedgwick play at First Church Boston (formerly First and Second Church). Eric is an astonishingly gifted graduate student at the Manhattan School of Music. I was so grateful that he'd done Leon Kirchner's first piano sonata, written in 1948 when the composer was only 28. Sedgwick grabbed the controls and unleashed the thing, finding all of its luminous crevices and dangerous corners. He also found its lyricism and quick wit. I love this music. At 88, Kirchner is still inspired. Sedgwick got it right.

When I stepped out, it was Twilight Savings Time, and the surprise of the softness of the air, and the weird length of my shadow on these undulating, heel-devouring brick sidewalks gave me spring fever. It started me on a dizzying walk that vacillated deliciously between Memory Lane and Avenue of the Future ...
Good Old Boston.
I'm still here.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The astonishing J. Haguttohamenazy

And as for the pianist Joyce Hatto, I'm looking forward to doing what I've not yet been able to do -- listen to an honest recording, in which she/they are uncompromised. And I'll listen with real compassion.
Jeremy Denk gets the award for the strangest post on Hatto. And don't miss Matthew Guerrieri's eloquence either.

(P.S. The kindergartner in me used Vladimir Ashkenazy's right shoulder and ear; Hatto's hair and nose; a slice of the face of Horacio Gutiérez; and the hands of Marc-André Hamelin, all of whom had their work, in part or in complete performances, used by W.H. Barrington-Coupe in his wife's recordings.)

(P.P.S. Here's a report by the excellent Alex Gallafent of PRI's "The World" which includes interview clips with retired Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer, and a couple of smaller points made by yours truly.)