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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Grand Piano, Tiny Desk

Jan. 12, 2018 | Tom Huizenga -- When we invited Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov to play a Tiny Desk concert, we rolled out the big guns. In place of the trusty upright, we wedged a 7-foot grand piano behind Bob Boilen's desk in preparation for the artist who The Times of London called "without question the most astounding pianist of our age."

That's a pretty lofty claim, but watch and judge for yourself. His performance here is extraordinary. Still in his 20s, Trifonov seems to have it all: jaw-dropping technique and interpretive skills beyond his age. He's also a composer — the night before his NPR visit, he played his own knuckle-twisting piano concerto at the Kennedy Center here in Washington, D.C.

But for his Tiny Desk show, Trifonov focused on Chopin, beginning with the mercurial "Fantaisie-Impromptu" in C-sharp minor, a work that mixes sweeping melody, turbulent passion and wistful repose. Hunching close over the keyboard with feline agility, Trifonov's slender fingers glide effortlessly. He coaxes the instrument to sing tenderly in the slow central section.

Trifonov follows with a pair of short tributes to Chopin by his peers. Robert Schumann's "Chopin" accentuates the lyrical side of Chopin, filtered through the German composer's forward-looking harmonies, while Edvard Grieg's "Hommage à Chopin" offers volatility, lovingly rendered.

The smartly programmed set is capped with more Chopin, but with a nod to Mozart: the finale from a set of variations based on an aria from Don Giovanni. It gives Trifonov a chance to display his lightness of touch, plus a few pianistic fireworks. Smiling, he treats the tricky filigreed runs and hand crossings as if it were a child's game. Look closely and you can see the piano shake.

(Daniil Trifonov appears courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH.)

 

Set List*

Chopin: "Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op. 66"

Schumann: "Chopin. Agitato" (from Carnaval)

Grieg: "Hommage à Chopin, Op. 73, No. 5"

Chopin: "Variations on 'Là ci darem la mano' (from Mozart's Don Giovanni) - Coda. Alla Polacca"

*(Selections found on the album Chopin Evocations.)

 

MUSICIAN
Daniil Trifonov (piano)

CREDITS
Producers: Tom Huizenga, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Alyse Young; Assistant Editor: Alyse Young; Photo: Jenna Sterner/NPR

Chopin Evocations

Daniil Trifonov stands for virtuosity, musical poetry and evocative power. He is the world’s top young pianist today - and the music of Chopin is close to his heart.

His new album "Chopin Evocations" is one of the most exciting recordings of 2017: two-and-a-half hours of music uniting Chopin's two beautiful piano concertos with Chopin solo works and pieces by Mompou, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Barber paying homage to the genius Chopin who, in Trifonov's words, "revolutionized the expressive horizons of the piano."

Gravity

The M.I.T. LineStorm Animation Consortium creates traditional animation projects at the rate of ten drawings for every second of onscreen running time. This hand-drawn celebration of Newton's Law of Gravity originated entirely on flipbooks created at the M.I.T. Student Art Association in the spring of 2010. Instructor Pell Osborn, of MotionArt Studios, Boston, supervised. Many thanks go to SAA director Sam Magee, and to Sir Isaac Newton for applying his exceptional brain power to the issue of gravity. The lively music track is an excerpt from a performance by the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra of Edvard Grieg's "Holberg Suite, Opus 40." Finally, many thanks are due the animators for their good humor, dedication and hard work.