David Lamb wrote:
> Hearing Brahms played with such passion followed only two days after
> hearing Arnaldo Cohen perform the Liszt #2 in Seattle. Cohen is also
> an extraordinary virtuoso who was able to make the Liszt sound like fine
> music and much more than a show-off number. It was wonderful and unusual
> to hear two such remarkable concerts in the same week. There must be a
> number of these magnificent pianists out there who do not so often get
> their names in lights even though they are great musicians. Treasure
> is where you find it.
I've never heard Cohen live, although his Liszt disc for Naxos was
quite superb. The player who can make either of the Liszt concertos
sound like great music (or even some would say, like music) is rare.
Another who can do it is Andre LaPlante (took silver in the 1978 Moscow
Tchaikovsky - not sure they awarded gold that year, his live Rach 3 from
that competition has been issued on the Canadian Analekta label and is
I can still clearly recall a concert about 15 years ago here, part of
the old Victoria International Festival, a "concerto night". I don't
recall the opening work - a Mozart horn concerto perhaps - but the rest
of the programme seemed like a "slam dunk": LaPlanteplaying Liszt 1
followed by Robert Davidovici (concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony)
and Desmond Hoebig (former principalk with the MOntreal SO and cellist
of the Orford Quartet) playing the Brahms double.
On paper, exactly the right sequence.
Unfortunately, that calculation left out the sheer charisma of LaPlante
- I have NEVER heard the Liszt sound like this and, alas, the Brahms,
although extremely well played, simply fell flat afterwards. A night
I remember when "Jackie" Kimura Parker (I know two people who were at
UBC with him and this is how they always refer to him - it's confusing
as JKP's younger brother is also a professional pianist: Jackie Parker)
won the Leeds competition (1984?) Although still living in the UK, my
wife and I were planning to move out here eventually and were rooting
for him as the 'hometown boy'. I seem to remember his playing the d
minor at Leeds.
I finally caught up with him live a few years ago (probably a decade if
I checked!) and had the good fortune to be paid to go and hear him. A
fine, fine pianist with fairly eclectic sensibilities.
In fifteen years of reviewing nothing but concerts here in Victoria, I
have come to the conclusion that there are more fine musicians out there
BTW I think my best live d minor was Arrau at the Proms c1967. Was
Haitink conducting? I can't recall unfortunately.
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