In a program of Liszt, Chopin and Grieg John Nelson opened the performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra with the melodious Mephisto Waltz NO. 1 by Franz Liszt and featuring a lovely harp solo.
Evgeny Kissin, the Russian pianist who captured international attention when he was only twelve years old, followed. He enthralled the audience with Frédéric Chopin's Piano Concerto NO. 1 in E minor, Opus 11.
After intermission Mr. Nelson led the orchestra in a lovely rendition of Liszt's beautiful Orpheus, Symphonic Poem, this time with two harpists.
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Nelson, Kissin and the BSO in a thrilling performance of Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 16. It was a truly extraordinary experience. Kissin displayed his remarkable artistry in this eternally popular concerto. And he certainly achieved a glowing performance with his colossal technique and musical sensitivity, subtlety and sparkle. The audience went wild with enthusiastic applause, standing ovations and shouts of "bravo." After many curtain calls Kissin rewarded us with two encores, very unusual for the BSO, Grieg's famous Aus dem Karneval and the very familiar Chopin Minute (meaning very small, not in time) Waltz.
I remember vividly the Edvard Grieg Memorial Concert Hall in Bergen, Norway, one of the most beautiful concert halls that I have had the privilege of visiting, a befitting tribute to this eminent Norwegian composer.
For Jeremy Eichler's review in the Boston Globe of the Thursday, 3/31/11, performance, click here:
Evgeny Kissin at the piano and John Nelson on the podium--Symphony Hall
Romantics Meet (Liszt and Kissin), and Sparks Fly--Anthony Tommasini, music critic of the NY Times, reviews Kissin's performance at Carnegie Hall on March 10, 2011, in commemoration of Liszt's 200th birthday--Click here:
Valentina Lisitsa, pianist--Seoul Philharmonic--live from Seoul--James Judd, conductor--Grieg Concerto A Minor Movement 1 (I remember many hours of practice on this piece many, many years ago to the delight of my father.)
Evgeny Kissin plays Chopin's Minute Waltz in D flatMajor -Op.64 No.1