Friday, July 6, 2012

Valentina Lisitsa Live

A shot from the internet telecast
And here she is. 
It's a great evening out, it really is. Valentina Lisitsa is funny and warm, and starts the concert by telling the audience how she came to be there. It's pretty frank stuff, admitting that she came close to giving up completely on a career in music. But she tells a story with a happy ending, at least.

I've preserved all the chatter. She has a pre-recorded interval talk, and you will hear, as she walks out to do encores, that she's trying to get the final score of the football match from the audience (before the concert she suggests that they use the huge monitors in the auditorium to relay the match – silently, of course).

The programme, chosen by vote, was

F. Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 12
Mozart Fantasy in c minor K.475Schubert-Liszt: Des Mädchens Klage, Der Doppelgänger, Erlkönig
Beethoven : Sonata Op 27 No 2 “Moonlight”
Rachmaninoff : Etude–Tableau  Op.39 No. 6
4 Preludes: G major Op 32. No.5, G sharp minor Op 32 No.12, B minor Op 32 No. 10, G minor Op 23 No. 5
Scriabin 2 Poèmes Op. 322 Etudes: Op 42 No. 3 “Mosquito”, Op 65 No.1Chopin : Nocturne in c minor Op 48 No.1, d flat major Op 27 No.2, e flat major Op 9 No.2Liszt Totentanz S.525
Schubert-Liszt Ave Maria
Liszt La Campanella

The sound is extracted from the YouTube broadcast. You should go and buy the album to get most of the concert in high-quality sound. But the album doesn't have the chatter, which is well worth listening to. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Valentina Lisitsa - Chopin Studies

Valentina Lisitsa's triumphant sell-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall marked the comeback of a pianist whose career had apparently languished terminally five years ago. Concert engagements had dried up, her manager had died and she was seriously considering applying for a job as a newsreader with a Ukranian TV channel! Indeed, she gave a humorous and sometimes moving account of these dark days before beginning her concert. 

Now, of course, thanks to YouTube she has become one of the internet's best-loved young pianists. And she has a recording contract from Decca.

Which is all very well, but it means that the clutch of interesting live recordings that used to be available on her website are gone, together with the rest of the old site. Well, here are the Chopin Studies, recorded live and in-house, formerly available on her site, so I guess 'official' recordings. 

The sound settles down in a few minutes and that silly woman falls asleep. (You'll see what I mean when you listen to them). Sound is reasonable, but not studio quality – 128 kbs. But as a document, here is the younger Lisitsa on the wing, taking risks and giving Freddy Francis a run for his money. 

I've also got the audio from the internet relay of her London concert, which I may have time to edit before I go on holiday. 

Download from Rapidshare