>I find Russian musicians - pianists especially - more thoughtful,
>thought provoking, and emanating a generally greater depth of meaning
>in their performances than most other musicians. In my opinion, they
>have a much greater understanding of sound than - for lack of a better
>term - westerners (or easterners, as I've never heard an asian musician
>I've actually enjoyed listening to) I believe this has a lot to do with
>culture. Every asian musician I've ever heard, for example, has seemed
>far more concerned with black and white notes rather than the infinite
>gamut of colours those notes can create.
That's quite a broad brush-stroke, and a stereo-type perhaps once true
that has taken on a life of its own. Surely you find Chung, the violinist,
hyper emotional and armed with a plethora of colors. I've often said
that this era is the era of the "sensible" conductor at least--Spano,
the younger Jarvi to name two--for which every note must be tastefully
dispatched. Boring boring boring.
Ironically I find Pletnev and Volodos--superhuman technique aside--to
be pretty boring in the end. I also think that Gergiev is a fraud: a
Sinopoli with a bad beard and half the daring imagination. His Rite of
Spring was perverse in a bad way.
>Brahms' penchant for analysis and theory bled far too much into his
>music for it to sound at all sincere. "Ooh, look, I can incorporate
>a Hemiola, an Augmentation, and Diminution in the same phrase!" Who
>cares, if it doest come out sounding genuine?!"
Hmm. I find Brahms to be infinitely poetic. The Piano Intermezzi? The
In any case, I'm glad you have a soft spot for the Russian sound, but
doesn't the canon bother you--just a little-- in Tchaikovsky's 1812?
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