Posted on July 28th, 2013 No comments
Reading an article about The Nutcracker in Time Magazine, I suddenly realize there are so many things that I don´t know.
When I first saw Nutcracker in Budapest in the early 60s I had NO IDEA that it was a “decidedly American phenomenon”.
That it is “darn good” I know, especially since I have played the piano score myself. For example, the Waltz of the the Flowers is one of the most beautiful waltzes ever. I also played The Nutcracker in the orchestra pit at the Stockholm Opera (mainly the Sugar-plum fairy part on the celesta).
That Tchaikovsky had a “knack for arranging” is also totally new to me. I thought he only was a composer.
I am sure I SHOULD have known it, but nevertheless it comes as a total surprise to me that the celesta is “featured in the opening of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” and that “Merv Griffin used the instrument in the original Final Jeopardy theme for the quiz show.”
Clearly there are LARGE blank spaces in my knowledge bank. But then, I don´t live in the USA.
Posted on September 11th, 2011 1 comment
Yes, why not talk about Liszt? After all, this is 2011, the Year of Liszt.
After having read quite a bit about my countryman and how he played the piano I of course feel nostalgic. If only it was possible to have a magic De Lorean and travel back in time to hear the great master play, surrounded by admirers, groupies, beautiful Souls…
But I regain my senses and sober up.
A pianist described by his contemporaries as totally unique, a force of nature, almost on a different planet by himself, will surely dissapoint, no matter how fantastic and outrageous his playing is. And even if he doesn´t dissapoint, a sad and predictable thing will happen: he will be teared to pieces by the hungry lions, the musicologists, the hacks, the professors, the whole learned lot whose job it is to dissect, disrespect and leave no underwear unturned.
Did I say lions? I meant vultures.
From now on I will not crave reality but will be content, very content, with imaginings about Liszt´s playing.
In other, more weighty matters, phantasy is literally deadly and we can´t get reality enough.