January 30th, 2012


Lise de la Salle - pianist

On Saturday night we went to a splendid concert at Jordan Hall. It was Lise de la Salle, a young (age 23) very talented French pianist. I thought it extraordinarily good (as did Matthew Guerrieri in today's Boston Globe review).

The first half of the program was:
Ravel: Miroirs
Debussy: Preludes

Both very imaginative suites. My thoughts were: lots of notes and variety of colors, and really well played.
As rsc said - now after the impressionism section, we'll go on to the classics.

The second half was:
Beethoven: Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a, “Les Adieux”
Beethoven: Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Opus 27, no. 2, “Moonlight Sonata”

Perhaps she should have done one French piece and one Beethoven in each half.

For encores - 4 of them
she said things like
now some Bach,
now some Chopin
where she played the lovely Nocturne in C-sharp minor from a posthumous opus

That would have made a nice ending
But the audience wouldn't have it
for the Prokoviev she didn't announce
now some Schumann
and she played Von fremden Ländern und Menschen from Kinderscenen
(one of the two pieces that I can actually play myself)
A nice ending to the concert.

I bought an iTunes recording of the Chopin (not hers). And I had fun in the iTunes store grazing in the first minute and a half of a bunch of recordings of several Nocturnes and Ballades. It is a great way to compare styles of many pianists. But can be quite a challenge - e.g there are a few hundred recordings of Schumann's Träumerei - also in my so-called repertoire.

Degas and the Nude

Today we went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see Degas and the Nude (which closes Feb 5). There was a vast exhibit with some very good explanations. I learned a lot about how monotypes are made and how he used that medium very successfully. There were lot of women (prostitutes and others) in various stages of undress and many drying off after a bath. I thought that maybe I should take a bath when I get home. I really liked his sculptures the best.

There were a few works by other artists as well. I particularly like a sculpture of a woman crying by Paul Albert Bartholomé that was near the end of the exhibit.