I have been enjoying filmed performances on You Tube of contestants in the 2010 International Chopin competition, particularly those of the winner Yulianna Avdeeva.
Aside from the brilliant athleticism of her playing, Avdeeva gets a huge range of colour out of the Yamaha, confirming my belief that the piano is a universe in itself.
If you could only choose a one composer for the desert island concert grand it would most likely be the Polish master. He has everything: beautiful melody, Bach- influenced bass lines, power and chops.
A constantly growing part of my CD collection is recordings of Chopin’s works from pianists like Josef Hofman, Vlado Perlumuter, Ivan Moravec, Artur Rubinstein, Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Evgeny Kissin and many others. I often enjoy the playing of lesser name artists: the “big names” don’t always deliver the goods. Dang Thai Son, the Vietnamese pianist now living in Montreal, is one such artist. Although he won the 1980 Chopin Competition, his victory was overshadowed by the media attention directed toward Ivo Pogerelich over whose loss Martha Argerich left the jury in a huff.
Dang Thai Son has made many recordings and they are brilliant. I know his Chopin Waltz and Prelude CDs and will certainly get more. Check him out. Buy Canadian!