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Thank you for suggesting Moravec. What an amazing recording!
I will never forget the revelation that hearing this work for the first time was, and I agree that there is something deeply disappointing about this Horowitz performance. I also really like David Fray's recording.
"Love has to be the starting point- love of music. It is one of my firmest convictions that love always produces some knowledge, while knowledge only rarely produces something similar to love." Arthur Schnabel
The Polonaise-Fantaisie is one of my favorite works by Chopin.
And my favorite interpretation is from my favorite pianist and compatriot Evgeni Bozhanov:
(I said “favorite” too much...)
I don't understand how someone can play such a profoundly soulful work while making clown faces.
Do you really think he does that on purpose? Most people in the audience will not see nearly as much of any pianist's facial contortions as one can see in a close up video. One would have to be seated in the bend in piano's curved side to see such a close up non profile view live.
I do wish that schools would start discouraging this behavior though, as well as grandiose arm movements. Both economy of motion and nobility in presentation seem to be lost to the ages.
The battle was lost before it was begun.
Liszt - who pioneered the solo piano recital where the piano is side-on to the audience so that they could see his lightning-fast hands & fingers, as well as his swooning - was hardly the model of decorum when he performed.
I don't think it's on purpose; I just don't understand it at all. I would have to forcefully make faces like that which would distract me immensely.
And Bozhanov probably couldn't stop making faces even if he tried and just trying to would distract him immensely. I'm not sure, but I think I read somewhere that he has some kind of facial tick not just related to playing the piano. There are other pianists who make extreme facial expressions like Watts, Uchida, and even Trifonov to some extent.
I think there are enough great performances of the works of Chopin that there's plenty of room for many kinds of interpretation. Horowitz plays like Horowitz and nobody else, so I always appreciate the opportunity to hear his take on a piece.