January 29, 2014

Catchup: Greilsammer

Went to a great recital the other day and didn't record it here—David Grielsammer played a somewhat daring program contrasting Scarlatti and Cage sonatas. Or maybe it was the common ground between the composers that he was highlighting. Whatever, it really worked for me

Before the show, Greilsammer tweeted (!)

And it was. Knew we were in for something different when we woke into the Terrace Theater and there were two pianos there—one normal and one prepared for the Cage works. Greilsammer just revolved in a stool between the two as needed, dramatically discarding the score when he finished. (The encore was straight Scarlatti played on the prepared piano.)

In remarks before the performance, the WPAS president said she was told in her piano education that until she got to know the insides of a piano, she couldn't really claim to have mastered the instrument. She was really counseling the whole audience to be open to the whole range of piano sound, and she really called to mind for me Bill Irvin's contrast between kosher and Christianity. One way to master the piano is to replicate the tones and styles of the past; another is to push the instrument, the performer, and the music to new places. Creilsammer said so much as he talked about his reasons for pairing Cage and Scarlatti. I wish I could remember his words exactly—it was something like when you pair stuff that was never meant to be seen (or heard) together, wonderful things happen.

My enthusiasm was recorded at Twitter—