As I've been promising for weeks on end: a night at the piano with Professor Claude Cymerman. His opening piece was Fantasy in d minor by Mozart K. 397. As soon as I saw that, I could hardly conceal my excitement. I played that same Fantasy when I was in high school (obviously not nearly as well as CC played it... but still). I think all students enjoy hearing pieces that they've played performed by their teachers. This particular Mozart Fantasy is possibly one of my favorite pieces. The way that Professor Cymerman can get so much contrast in his dynamics continues to amaze me. The melody is brought out perfectly but the "other stuff" is hardly ignored. When he played the Fantasy, I heard the "other stuff" as being what made the melody so beautiful. Also, he is the most relaxed performer I have ever seen. I wonder if he has any performance anxiety because he comes off as being the most controlled, relaxed performer ever. It's almost like he just flops his hands in the general direction of what notes he needs to hit and they just go. Aimed flopping. I wish that I could play with that much confidence and control.
Everyone was waiting for it: his transcription of The Rite of Spring. My favorite part of this piece was when CC used his fists to pound out low "chords" to signal a climax. The piano is a rather versatile instrument and I dont think we take advantage of that often enough. I can appreciate CC's effort to diversify the "stereotypical" pianist.
Although The Rite of Spring was what everyone had been looking forward to, and also the big finale, I found that the other stuff was what made the concert for me. Other than the Mozart, he played part of a Toccata for organ, a chorall, and a transcribed movement of a violin Sonata- all by Bach. Quite a Bach heavy concert, but it was all so beautiful. The transcription of the violin Sonata was amazing. Usually I find myself getting sleepy with slow relaxed music, but I was so intent at this concert.
In conclusion. I think CC (or any other piano faculty) should definitely give more concerts. Seeing them perform makes me that much more excited and passionate about it.