But Do We Really UNDERSTAND Liszt?Report of our Jan 21st, 2018 Event
As per the amazing virtuoso piano playing of our international feature Ana Glig (Gligvashvili) at our recent Open Mic Classical, F. Liszt (Hungarian, like OMC co-founder Monika Woods, incidentally) was in full effect.
Caption: Ellen Adamson, accompanied by the great clarity and precision by collaborative pianist of the day Sylvia Karkush Furash, started off the program with lovely classical singing. Ellen is now on the Advisory Commitee of Open Mic Classical, and looks forward to hearing YOUR ideas for performances, 5-minute talks, new ensembles, and so forth.
When Franz Liszt (1811-1886) would begin to play the opening movement of his first piano concerto in pre-electric concert halls, and mahogany-drenched salons, he was known to sing the words:
‘Das verstecht Ihr alle nichts' ("This none of you understand.")
over the opening theme of this instrumental piece.
Caption: OMC Co-founder Mónika Woods, clarinetist and local private music instructor, played some spritely Bartok built on folk melodies from her Hungarian home in Transylvania. One of her star students (and coincidentally her child) 8 years old Zsóka Woods played a snappy piano piece.
The trio of LeeAnn McKenna, Kate Nelson, and Monika Woods played a movement from Haydn Londoner Trio, yet another new ensemble brought together through the growing grass roots of OMC.
Was he a true disgruntled artist or did he merely like to toy with critics? Did he sometimes water down his ideas for us plebes? While alive, did his audience really "get him" or did it take additional generations of composers to re-constitute his best post-mortem bits, plug them into film scores, into radio dramas, and under bakery ads to really make his juiciest earworms sing to our ears?
First Timers: Hubbie of featured guest Ana Glig, James Rosenblum, is one of two amazing virtuoso pianists in their small household. He radiated probably all full 88s and then some with some fancy-footwork Chopin. One wonders how their house manages to stay on its foundation, but regardless we heartily welcome these former-big-apple folks to our small peninsula of art and community.
Singer Dan Powers serenaded with some lovely vocals, inclusive of a classically-tinged Andrew Lloyd Webber concoction of Pie-Jesu. One more performer who benefitted from working with Open Mic Classical's collaborative pianist of the day Sylvia Karkush Furash.
Hard to say, but Ana Glig's wonderful playing this recent Sunday was an ideal platform to examine Liszt's relevance then and now.
Studying his life, it doesn't seem the case that Liszt could have been very disgruntled or cynical. A true champion of the arts and of other artists, he donated vast sums of his touring proceeds to charities and often hooked up many of his later students with fee-less music lessons.
It was fitting then, that Glig would honor him at our Open Mic Classical, our local institution dedicated to fellowship among local classical musicians and connoisseurs.
Glig, originally from the country of Georgia (once part of the USSR), has multiple strong connections to Liszt:
- she plays his notes wonderfully and wowed us to no end, as did Liszt his fans
- she has pedagogical lineage to Liszt
- she, like Liszt, has organized, and performed concerts for charity. She has done this with her pianist-husband James Rosenblum (also a highly accomplished pianist!), notably in her original stomping grounds in the country of Georgia.
Music is universal. Music connects people. Music is wonderful.
'Das versteht ihr alles.'
Caption: Feature Ana Glig knocked our socks off with Liszt! An international performer (prizewinner at the Tel-Hai International Piano Concerto Competition in Israel and the Tbilisi International Piano Competition) she performed Liszt's Pelerinage - Première année: Suisse, S.160. while displaying on the screen paintings, and images of Switzerland, custom picked for each of Liszt's movements, thus adding to OMC's commitment to incorporating innovation and dialogue.
What new elements might YOU bring to our next performance?