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Chopin Overseas Celebration

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 , ora 11.51

In 1970, pianist Garrick Ohlsson was the first American to win the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. He was one of the few artists who kept in touch with Eastern Europe even during communism. As his entire Chopin Discography (Hyperion) proves it, Garrick Ohlsson is an inspired poet of this music. On Thursday, May 14th 2010, Ohlsson alongside conductor Michael Tilson Thomas celebrated the composer of the Piano Concert no. 2, in San Francisco. He quickly confirmed his reputation. With a smile on his face, he penetrated the pages of the concert written by a Chopin fallen in love for the first time. The pianist embraces a round and full sound, with light and attentive phrasing. Unfortunately, the orchestra was a little faded, and the discrepancy between it and a master stylist like Ohlsson was visible. Finally, towards the end of the show, the orchestra got animated with Debussy's ballet suite Giselle and La Mer. In fact, the powerful and unsettling waves were the ones that inspired the performance of this «Sea», giving it a unique feeling of grandness, a defining feeling for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Alexandra Diaconu
Translated by Andra Stroe, Andreea Velicu
MA students, MTTLC, Bucharest University