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Ampelman and I went to see Radu Lupu at Carnegie last night. What a beautiful performance - nuanced, subtle, and full of passion at the same time. His manipulation of volume draws his audience in so close and intimately. And Carnegie's acoustics lend themselves so well to this kind of playing. I need to dig out some of the recordings I have of him. Looking forward to the review in tomorrow's NYT (I'm assuming) so I can confirm what the encores were.

 

And lovely to run into Senor Dilley!

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I haven't heard him live for years - he has a reputation for being a bit erratic interpretatively recently, but I really love some of his playing. There is a Schumann disk with 2 of my favorite pieces, Kreisleriana and the Humoresque which is simply quite unbelivably good. I don't think anyone has done them better. That, his Schubert B flat sonata and later Brahms intermezzi are all absolutely outstanding. Definitely one of the reference pianists for the high German repertoire.

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The encores were apparently Ravel and Schubert (I seem to recall there being three, and one sounding like Chopin, but what do I know). Usually Carnegie's website is updated the day after to include the encores in the relevant progam listing, but apparently not this time.

 

Fred Kirshnit in the NY Sun says Rough-And-Tumble Night for Lupu:

 

[Re: the Schubert]

Mr. Lupu played with a gruff fluidity that took some warming of the ear to appreciate. Overall, this seemed to be a method of ensuring rhythmic continuity, but there was within its digitizing precious little delicacy. It was as if Mr. Lupu were simply bulling his way through the work with a good deal of unnecessary overtonal overlap. Almost like the drone of a sitar, the bass line vibrated continuously.

 

Taking the Con moto at a rapid clip minimized Schubert's temporal experimentation, but Mr. Lupu was so good at managing his phrases that I began to enjoy, albeit grudgingly, this rough-and-tumble performance. Compared to one of the great interpreters of this sonata, say, Clifford Curzon, this was rather superficial but still arresting music-making.

[Re: the Debussy]

By some stylistic turn of 180 degrees, the wateriness of the Schubert was replaced with crystalline, lapidary Debussy. Again, it took a few minutes to appreciate Mr. Lupu's well-defined passages, which emphasized not so much the diaphanous as the melodious. What Debussy would have thought of this type of communication is difficult to know, but such clarity would have been enough to expel Mr. Lupu from music schools 50 years ago. Yet, there was something quite impressive and infectious about his enthusiasm — oddly lacking in the Schubert — when he delivered such a vibrant rendition of "The sounds and fragrances swirl through the evening air." After all, what's wrong with a little sharp-focus Impressionism?

Onward Saturday to an all-Schubert Liederabend at Carnegie, featuring the dreamy foursome of Dorothea Röschmann, Ian Bostridge, Thomas Quasthoff and Julius Drake. I'm happy the program includes "Kennst du das Land" and "Gretchen am Spinnrade"; with any luck, one or more of "Ständchen" (Leise flehen meine Lieder), "Auf dem Wasser zu singen" and "An die Musik" will appear as encores...

 

 

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I haven't heard him live for years - he has a reputation for being a bit erratic interpretatively recently, but I really love some of his playing. There is a Schumann disk with 2 of my favorite pieces, Kreisleriana and the Humoresque which is simply quite unbelivably good. I don't think anyone has done them better. That, his Schubert B flat sonata and later Brahms intermezzi are all absolutely outstanding. Definitely one of the reference pianists for the high German repertoire.

 

Since we were speaking of Argerich, I really rate her Kreisleriana.

 

I am trying to think what Radu Lupu discs I have; I haven't heard him live.

 

 

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Onward Saturday to an all-Schubert Liederabend at Carnegie, featuring the dreamy foursome of Dorothea Röschmann, Ian Bostridge, Thomas Quasthoff and Julius Drake. I'm happy the program includes "Kennst du das Land" and "Gretchen am Spinnrade"; with any luck, one or more of "Ständchen" (Leise flehen meine Lieder), "Auf dem Wasser zu singen" and "An die Musik" will appear as encores...
I am so, so jealous.

"Auf dem Wasser zu singen" - one of my very favorites.

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