074: Technoshamanism

Noun: technoshamanism (uncountable) – Alternative form of techno-shamanism.

Piano Sonata in A major, op. 2 no. 2 – 1. Allegro vivace (6:22)
Rafał Blechacz, Ludwig Van Beethoven
from Rafał Blechacz – Sonatas – Haydn | Mozart | Beethoven – Track 4/10

His teacher once said that the other students, compared to Rafal, weren’t gifted by God. It was (though not meant to be) a cruel observation.

People say I type quickly. Two things: I rely heavily on my keyboard for the trivialities of my daily computing, and I use Dvorak. I like to credit the second part for my speed, but I can’t be sure.

I type quickly, but when I sit down at the ivories to take a whirl, I’m suddenly sluggish and uncoordinated.

I played this very movement for Panel. I remember my every nuance – and my every mistake.

Rafal plays with such delightful energy and vigor. It’s not exaggerated or forceful, but it’s so devilishly fast that you wonder how much of his soul he gave to Mephisto to achieve that ungodly speed. Better phrased: how much favor did God grant him to achieve such heavenly ability?

Listening to his playing puts me to shame. And Akiko (who maintains Preludia, the fansite for Rafal) made a critical insight: imagine how hurtfully the other finalists must have been crushed in 2005 when the judges refused to award a second prize.

If I were to compete today at that great concert hall in Warsaw, I wouldn’t even pass the preliminaries. Such is the ineptitude of my fingerwork. It hurts me so much to think that something I enjoy so much could be so far away from me: that I’ll never achieve the creative output of any of those amazing composers, nor the heaven-sent virtuosity of these great pianists.

Sergei Rachmaninoff really had it all. His fourth concerto is more beautiful than most credit (I for one enjoy it immensely), as are many of his less-popular works. Not only that, but he was really the pianist’s pianist – his Chopin album that I bought from Rasputin Music (“Rachmaninoff plays Chopin”) was an excellent buy. It’s such confident, such bold playing – almost a little overstated at times, not to suggest I could have done any better – something to contrast with the laid-back, always introspective Blechacz.

I could practice etudes and fugues all day and still be many long shots away from these two amazing men. And Mikhail Pletnev too. And Martha Argerich. And Yundi Li. And Yulianna Avdeeva too, I guess. Note that I don’t mention Horowitz because I’m not objective towards him.

The least I can do is pride myself on being ahead of the curve in my particular field: my arrangement for the three selections from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” sounds pretty nice, if I may say so myself. I think I will chance tackling some from “The Cat Returns” if time permits.

As for the Mozart sonata, it’s also doing surprisingly well – I’ve never appreciated his music more than I have now. Although I’m reduced to playing the second part, I enjoy it immensely.



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