Evgeny Kissin from the Stage

April 23, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Posted in Music, Piano | Leave a comment
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By the time I got around to getting tickets for the great Russian pianist, Evgeny Kissin, they were sold out. But then, stage seat became available and I jumped. They are more expensive than regular tickets and a mixed bag. Due to phenomenal traffic on a Sunday and a logistics issue, I did not succeed in getting to the seats early. These are the only seats at Orchestra Hall that are not reserved. Get in early and you can see every knuckle move, get in later, say 15 minutes before the performance and, unless you are a refuge from the Netherlands, you can’t see much, though Kissin was only a few yards away.

It was a wonderful performance of the type that critics often criticize: the music was familiar. Kissin began with the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven and there is not a piano piece more familiar than that. Even if you think you don’t know it, you do — at least the first movement. Then, in the second half, Chopin, and we swoon.

As great as this performance was, it was matched by looking up and seeing what a full, absolutely packed house looks like to the performer. It was awe-inspiring and would make one want to practice very hard, and never retire. And they don’t.

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