17 July 2012

chamber music

our summer festival is one of the glories of Santa Fe. today's noon concert was Russian piano music.

I was unfamiliar with Jon Kimura Parker. he burst onto the stage sat down & quickly wiped the keyboard with a red handkerchief. & then bam... he immediately attackd the piano & exploded with a quick punch that is a Prokofiev sonata.

he left the stage. returning to the piano he playd some Rachmaninoff. some pianists -- even good ones -- perform music.  Parker interprets it. whatever he plays sounds so fresh. with that short piece done he didn't even leave & went straight into the program's longest piece -- Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." he was astonishing. Parker hunchd over the keyboard his head bobbing like a bird's. he ravishd the keys. near the end of the piece he began to lift himself from the bench. almost at the finish his arms flew off the keyboard into the air as if he were abt to levitate. looking as if he were going to collapse he playd that last note & the entire audience was immediately on its feet. it was as thrilling as any performance I've ever been so lucky to experience.

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