Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kissin and Disgust

And, while I am on the subject of music, last night I came upon a CD I had forgotten I owned and have certainly never played. It was Evgeny Kissin's 'legendary' 1984 concert in Moscow. He played the two Chopin piano concertos. It was breathtaking and disgusting. Disgusting because, for some reason, I could not get beyond the fact that Kissin was twelve at the time and, amidst this emotional extravagance, it felt wrong, offensive, a circus trick. I know, I know, Mozart could have done this and more and would he have disgusted me? I don't know. I did not expect this and I cannot explain it.


  1. Kissin is quite an interesting musician, but difficult to love. The world is not short of youthful instrumentalists who can play the notes perfectly - China produces hundreds every year, most of them being 'hothoused' from the age of five or six. Lang Lang, the current star turn, filled Carnegie Hall at his debut and, like Kissin, has been 'sold' relentlessly to us since. Perhaps it is this, the crude commercialization of a performing art, that raises your bile ?

  2. ...reminds me of Kim Sung, a Chinese child prodigy, aged eight, who apparently stunned medical school by wanting to be a gynaecologist.

    Perhaps this is a matter of upbringing, but Kim Sung has an IQ of 175 - so, why not make the most of it...

  3. There is a fascinating documentary about Evgeny, showing him to be a very fragile flower, wonderfull pianist, almost hypnotic, up there with Brendel and Lill, not quite John Ogden. The past master at "discovering young talent" was Von Karajan, especially if the talent in question had big tits. As in Sophie Mutter, he can however be forgiven those indiscretions as he was responsible for bringing the 20 year old Irmgard Seefried to the world stage, she definitely did not have prodigious tits, just prodigious talent.

  4. Now HERE's a prodigy:

    Only, you probably will still be disgusted because this pianist sheds the dander you hate.

    Tant pis, Kit-tee, pour toi.