Thursday, March 17, 2005

Playing With Myself.

OK. It's been awhile since posting. Busy, busy, busy boy. Hopefully I'll have some links to clips of your truly playing a little Bach.

And speaking of playing check out this review of Anthony de Mare's latest gimmick. And it's too bad that comes to being that --since it could be much more interesting and engaging. I still give him kudos for creativity. But, yea, he needs to spend a little more time in the practice room:


"Four years ago he presented a compelling semiautobiographical multimedia piece in New York, "Playing With Myself." The program incorporated performances of piano works, songs and some dance sequences into acted episodes depicting a young man whose exploration of his anguished longing culminates in a transforming romantic encounter at a gay nightclub.

So it's no surprise that at Zankel Hall on Tuesday night, on his recital program titled "Gotham Glory," a celebration of New York City, Mr. de Mare was at his best in Frederic Rzewski's "De Profundis" (1992). This is a stunning 30-minute work for solo piano that combines Mr. Rzewski's ferocious, gritty and at times dreamy piano music with speaking and singing of texts adapted from Oscar Wilde's harrowing essay from prison.

Mr. de Mare's performance involved a mesmerizing array of sounds: vocal sighs, cries, barks and growls, as well as some horn-honking and percussive tapping of the closed wooden cover of the keyboard. Mr. Rzewski wrote the work with Mr. de Mare in mind, and after abandoning an attempt to perform it from memory, Mr. de Mare returned onstage with the score, started over and performed "De Profundis" as if he owned it.

The rest of his formidable program was devoted to some technically challenging contemporary piano works, including premieres by Paul Moravec, Jason Robert Brown, David Del Tredici and Fred Hersch. Several of these scores pushed Mr. de Mare's pianistic skills to the limit. Perhaps his attempt to turn the contemporary piano recital into "concert theater," as he calls his explorations, is taking a toll on his technique."

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