Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The recital turned out to be one of the most moving I have ever played. From the very first note everyone in the room was rapt. As one listener later put it, she knew every note I played so it was as if she were reliving the experience of playing it.

Many pianists perform for this community but always run-throughs of programs intended for other audiences in other venues. This was a first: A program tailor-made for this audience. They really felt the difference.

It was a clear case of the interpersonal element of music performance that is so often lacking in formal recitals.

I experienced it once in a piano recital by Leon Fleischer back in the 1950's--more correctly, after the recital, when he played Fuer Elise as an encore following a program of some of the most difficult repertoire (Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue and Ravel's Valses Nobles et Sentimentales). After two seconds of tittering the audience in Severance Hall (Cleveland) became totally attentive. I never forgot it.