4 Comments

  1. Mary Shaw
    February 2, 2015 @ 11:20 am

    Ken, You’re always looking at the big picture. Comes from the wisdom you’ve gathered so far, and which allows you to observe from a place of coherent personal philosophy. Thanks for your words about this performance.

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  2. Geoffrey Clow
    February 2, 2015 @ 12:47 pm

    Cirque du Soleil seems useful as an analogy in a few aspects: The technical skill is breathtaking. The material is selected primarily to display that skill. The performances are not so much artistically satisfying as merely thrilling.

    Nikolay Khozyainov’s concert was all of those things, for me. The program material was chosen primarily to display technical skill, not to provide musical artistry. What musicality the program could have provided was mostly crushed by Khozyainov’s youthful inability to harness his talent to a purpose other than unrestrained exhibitionism.

    The analogy that came to my mind during the performance was of high-power pneumatic pistons being driven dangerously fast. Exciting yes, pleasing no. I would be willing to see Cirque du Soleil every few years. I hope that Nikolay Khozyainov comes under some nurturing adult influence before I’m exposed to him, again. His talent is boundless, and its application is completely out of balance.

    Thank you for the review.

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    • KMW
      February 2, 2015 @ 3:01 pm

      I agree w/you and the reviewer. I also think the recital would have been more interesting with a more varied program. What happened to the classicists and more contemporary music.

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      • Geoffrey Clow
        February 3, 2015 @ 11:36 am

        Good point. There are hundreds of years of interesting keyboard literature available, and Mr Khozyainov is focusing on a thin slice of it. A fun way for him to expand his horizons and explore the literature might be through the transcriptions done by Liszt, whom Mr Khozyainov already knows and presumably admires. Liszt studied other composers deeply, and much of his work as a composer was the transcription of others’ work.

        One of the most satisfying performances that I have attended by a journeyman pianist — and one that broadened my horizons — was Martina Filjak’s appearance with members of the SD Symphony at TSRI Auditorium last Spring. She soloed Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in a minor B543 transcribed by Liszt (S 462/1), and collaborated in Brahms’ late Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano Op 114. Her playing managed to be both exciting and musical. Keeping in mind that Brahms is a generation younger than Liszt, these are two composers squarely in the middle of Mr Khozyainov’s target period, yet Filjak’s program offered infinitely more musical and historical interest than Mr Khozyainov’s program.

        Of course, any token 20C work would be appreciated like water in the desert. Surely he could find exhibition material in Bartók and Prokofiev at least — and any number of others, depending on how much confidence he develops.

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