Friday, August 22, 2008

That was Then, this is Now

We music lovers often confuse LPs and CDs with music. They are but a snapshot of a performer's conception of a piece of music at a particular time. The music lover wants permanence and a repeatable thrill time after time. On the other hand, the musician grows - changes and usually feels the next performance will be the perfect one.

One artist that has changed over a relatively short time is Stephen Hough. When I first heard his recordings of Liszt, I was thrilled that a late twentieth century pianist would play Liszt broadly and aim for passion. This was Liszt's credo and few of today's pianists in their search for objective perfection care to thrill a listener as they are in meeting the austere needs of music critics. Times change but the notes of the music do not, this could be the reason that the heavy-duty romantic rhetoric of the nineteenth century falls flat with todays easily embarrassed audiences.

On the Piano this week, we return to those early performances of Hough when his playing was tempered by the great pianists of the past.

The Piano this Sunday Afternoon at 5 here on KPAC and KTXI.

host Randy Anderson

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