When the hair on your arm is in a state of permanent erection and your eyes become instantly wet, you know you’re experiencing something extraordinary. In this case, it was the ménage à trois of some of the greatest piano artists of our time at the prestigious Rheingau Musik Festival: Chilly Gonzales, the fierce musical polymath, Igor Levit, the courageous classical interpreter, and the epitome of lyrical, Malakoff Kowalski. Continue reading
Tomorrow is the day we have all been waiting for: Solo Piano III will finally be here. Fortunately, we were at the premiere in Geneva. Unfortunately, Gonzo didn’t play the full album – however: Fortunately, the few pieces made my soul rejoice. Unfortunately, the Ostinato made me aware I’ll never ever reach heavenly Aretha’s voice. Fortunately, Gonzo gone Beast for a minute, played the drums like the most freakin’ Muppet. Unfortunately, my amateur rhymes are just a rapper’s spit turned into foam. Fortunately, this idea here killed the white paper syndrome. Unfortunately, “Fortunately, Unfortunately” was the first and only “Soft Power” song he played live in ages. Fortunately, it’s a (re-)start – those pieces belong to the stages.
I know this sounds much better in its original form, but it expresses what the whole concert made obvious: Gonzo embraces his whole oeuvre like never before. The upcoming album is not only a sign of the times, but a statement from a musical humanist.
Just imagine you were coeval with Händel or Mozart and wanted to listen to some music. You would only be able to choose from a selection of three possibilities at the most: go to a concert hall, make music yourself or in case you had the privilege of noble birth, enjoy it as part of the courtly cultural life. Fortunately, nowadays music is always available and repeatable. Still, it felt as if storage data devices haven’t been invented yet, when Chilly Gonzales played the Kölner Philharmonie on December 29th. He introduced so many new, yet unfortunately unpublished pieces that it was a real treat and indulgence, but at the same time evanescence and the knowledge of singularity were omnipresent. The Faustian verse “If to the moment I shall ever say: ’Ah, linger on, thou art so fair!’” could have been the epigraph to this final concert in 2012. Or was it a pointer to the future and into the direction of “more orchestra”? Continue reading