Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Big Hair and Bazzini

I know I denied being a YouTube junkie, but I may just have to eat my own words. There's just so much good stuff there if you can find effective ways to sift through the pointless stuff.

Here's Ilya Kaler playing the third movement of the Siblius concerto. (A bit out of tune at times, but still worth watching.) Kaler has the singular acclaim of having won gold medals in three of the world's most prestigious international competitions: the Tchaikovsky, Siblius, and Paganini competitions. Watching his left hand makes me envious. His double-stops look so effortless! (Also, his hair is awesome, and if he had kept growing it, he might have been able to rival Kissin. Or who knows, maybe even Levine. And by the way, if you like pianists with big hair, buy this album. Of course, not if you're bored by Schubert for four hands.)

I find it humorous to read some of the comments left on YouTube videos. I watched a video of another artist performing the same Siblius movement, and people left comments like, "This is awful in comparison to David Oistrakh. How could she even play in public. [sic]" and "interpritation? what interpritation [sic]? she just does what her teacher told [sic] her to do." This in response to a very good performance by a well-known violinist.

Comments I've seen on other videos of very accomplished violinists include, "give up, i played it twice as fast," while comments on mediocre performances of student pieces read like this: "OMG, you are amazing, you should take lessons from Kennedy and you would be even more amazing."

I'd venture a guess that the kids recording themselves playing Pachelbel fancy themselves terrific artists and make up a significant portion of the people going around leaving snooty comments. Me? I'll admit that this girl (not the criticized artist in question), for example, is possibly better than I am. And this kid, and this kid, oh, and this kid, too (Bazzini, anyone?) rival many college students I've heard. Depressing, but true.

In any case, I'd just be curious to know the credentials of those who so eagerly criticize.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Evgeny's hair. I think he must wear it like that to wick away the sweat when he's on his seventh encore...

    My dad loves to show off Kissin on DVD to every guest who enters our home, but sometimes I think they are far too distracted by the hair to pay attention to his piano-playing. As for me, I've gotten over it. :)