Chicago Music Preview: KISSIN PLAYS BEETHOVEN, PROKOFIEV, CHOPIN & LISZT (Symphony Center)

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by Tony Frankel on April 12, 2015

in Theater-Chicago

YOU’LL FIND BLISS IN KISSIN

If you haven’t heard, Evgeny Kissin is positively the best pianist alive. In the sense of the grand pianistic tradition that some say died with likes of Arrau, Cliburn, and Rubinstein, Kissin is a living legend who, basically since infancy, has been caretaker to the “Golden Age” of the piano. I caught him in recital at Disney Hall last year, and although his hair isn’t the spectacle it once was, his concert certainly was. Now, Pianist-Evgeny-KissinKissin is coming to Chicago this Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 3:00. It is hard to imagine someone as perfectly tailored to the concert pianist idiom as Kissin but—thanks to Chicago Symphony Orchestra for bringing him here—I can vouch that he is for real.

Kissin is always exciting—the audience was hysteric in its plea for encores when I saw him last—but never more so than when he performs music by composers with whom he is most closely associated. At Symphony Center, Kissin offers works by his repertoire staples—Chopin and Liszt—as well as sonatas by Beethoven and Prokofiev. The nocturne form was conceived by Irish composer John Field, but Chopin reinvented it with an inspired infusion of song-like melodies. While based on a traditional Polish dance, Chopin’s mazurkas are dazzlingly original showpieces that offer striking harmonic invention and breathless flights of technical brilliance.

In an era of classical music depression, Kissin still sells out concert halls, and there are actually stage seats available for this concert.

Program:
Beethoven Sonata No. 21 (Waldstein)
Prokofiev Sonata No. 4 in C Minor
Chopin Nocturne in B-flat Minor, Op. 9, No. 1
Chopin Nocturne in B Major, Op. 9, No. 3
Chopin Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1
Chopin Mazurka in F-sharp Minor, Op. 6, No. 1
Chopin Mazurka in C-sharp Minor, Op. 6, No. 2
Chopin Mazurka in E Major, Op. 6, No. 3
Chopin Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 7, No. 2
Chopin Mazurka in F Minor, Op. 7, No. 3
Chopin Mazurka in C-sharp Minor, Op. 41, No. 1
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15 (Rákóczi March)

photos courtesy of CSO

Kissin Plays Beethoven and Chopin
Evgeny Kissin, piano
presented by Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 3:00
Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.
for tickets, call 312-294-3000 or visit www.cso.org

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