Kissin plays, Kissin talks
January 6, 2012 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Evgeny Kissin is not only a phenomenally active, high-strung, and almost unfailing pianist, he also declaims poetry in public -- in Yiddish.

Here he explains, in Yiddish, why and how he learned to do the one, and the other (English subtitles included).

Bonus: Grieg's piano concerto from the most recent Berlin New Year Concert (mvt. 1 and 2 unfortunately out of sync).
posted by Namlit (5 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Watching his hands while he plays actually hurts. I think it must be the way his little finger curves tensely back in – he must be pressing down on the keys with force.

This is neat. Thanks.
posted by koeselitz at 3:47 PM on January 6, 2012

(Man. He is incredibly good – at both things. Awesome guy.)
posted by koeselitz at 3:52 PM on January 6, 2012

Oh, Evgeny Kissin- the reason I stopped playing the piano at all for about 10 years, after listening to his recording of the Rachmaninoff 3rd concerto. Because after that... what was the point? My hands didn't and simply couldn't ever do that- they don't have the strength, consistency, or stamina.

I dunno, maybe it'll sound petty, but I guess I was secretly kind of hoping to read that he'd permanently maimed his hands in a bowling hustle gone bad.
posted by hincandenza at 6:11 PM on January 6, 2012

I had such a crush on this dude as a 14-year-old. If I had seen this then, well, OMG.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 1:09 AM on January 7, 2012

I saw him play some of Liszt's Années de Pélerinage in Vienna. It was astounding, as was his last encore, Liszt's arrangement of Schumann's Widmung. He didn't do his dozens-of-encores thing, but it was a fab concert.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:36 AM on January 7, 2012

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