• Scaling the heights: Sydney Symphony play Beethoven and Strauss

    29 Jun 2012, 07:46 by piano_kiki

    Ven. 17 fév. – Emirate Metro Series

    Beethoven was certainly not afraid of breaking traditions. He broke several long-held Classical traditions in his Piano Concerto no. 4, and no break was more revolutionary than beginning a concerto with the solo instrument. It was in this way that the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy opened their latest musical offering at Sydney Opera House. The pianist who opened the concert with the quiet G major chords of Beethoven's masterwork was one of the older statesmen of the piano, Stephen Kovacevich, who celebrated his seventieth birthday in 2010. His performance had authority to it and was unfussy; he simply relied on a beautiful sense of phrasing, allowing the music to shine through in elegant poetry. The Sydney Symphony responded to this elegance, accompanying Kovacevich with a highly musical sense of line and shape.

    One of the facets of concerto playing which Beethoven developed so masterfully was the relationship between soloist and orchestra. …
  • Stephen Kovacevich versprüht kauzigen Charme

    21 Jun 2012, 15:18 by doug_glad

    Mar. 19 juin – Klavier-Festival Ruhr

    Mülheim.

    Fast hätte man meinen können, dass Stephen Kovacevich sein Konzert im Rahmen des Klavier-Festival Ruhr den großen „Bs“ der Musikgeschichte widmen würde, standen doch Werke von Ludwig van Beethoven im Mittelpunkt. Zudem wurde der Abend in der Stadthalle mit Johann Sebastian Bach eröffnet, doch mit dem Romantiker Robert Schumann durchbrach Kovacevich die Reihe der „Bs“.

    Stephen Kovacevich versprüht einen etwas kauzigen Charme: Während des Musizierens brummt er oft mit röchelndem Bass die Melodien, was besonders das Publikum in den ersten Reihen irritiert haben dürfte. Ungewöhnlich ist auch sein extrem niedriger Klavierhocker, der dafür sorgt, dass sich die Tastatur in Brusthöhe des Pianisten befindet. Kovacevich vermittelt so, trotz schwarzer Kleidung und grauer Haare, den optischen Eindruck eines staunenden Kindes am Klavier.

    Langsame Sätze ragen heraus
    Bei seinem Streifzug durch Barock…
  • Eilat Chamber Music Festival

    30 Apr 2012, 16:23 by doug_glad

    Sam 17 mars – Eilat Festival


    Concert no.9

    This was a solo piano recital by Stephen Kovacevich (b.1940, USA). Also well-known as a conductor, Kovacevich performs with chamber ensembles, with major orchestras and records. When still a student with Myra Hess, it was becoming clear that the pianist was attracted to Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770-1827) music, in particular, to his later works. Kovacevich’s recording of all the Beethoven sonatas was issued in 2003. Beethoven’s Bagatelles opus 126 (1825), dedicated to the composer’s brother Johann, were his last published works for solo piano; the composer contended that these brief character pieces were the best of his three sets of Bagatelles. Despite the word Bagatelle (French) translating as “trifle”, Beethoven’s opus 126 pieces challenge the player’s ability in the technical pianistic techniques of Beethoven’s late music, not to speak of creating a mood within a miniature, the style and short form forging ahead into Romantic free styles. …
  • Delicate and subtle

    27 Mar 2012, 12:54 by piano_kiki

    Ven. 16 mars – Eilat Festival

    by Pamela Hickman


    This was a solo piano recital by Stephen Kovacevich (b.1940, USA). Also well-known as a conductor, Kovacevich performs with chamber ensembles, with major orchestras and records. When still a student with Myra Hess, it was becoming clear that the pianist was attracted to Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770-1827) music, in particular, to his later works. Kovacevich’s recording of all the Beethoven sonatas was issued in 2003.

    Beethoven’s Bagatelles opus 126 (1825), dedicated to the composer’s brother Johann, were his last published works for solo piano; the composer contended that these brief character pieces were the best of his three sets of Bagatelles. Despite the word Bagatelle (French) translating as “trifle”, Beethoven’s opus 126 pieces challenge the player’s ability in the technical pianistic techniques of Beethoven’s late music, not to speak of creating a mood within a miniature, the style and short form forging ahead into Romantic free styles. …
  • Making Adelaide a home to recitals

    24 Mar 2012, 09:05 by piano_kiki

    Lun. 20 fév. – International Piano Series

    Concert promoter Guy Barrett and his RBS Morgans International Piano Series is another world-class Adelaide event. The Adelaide Review speaks to Barrett about the origins for the piano recital series.


    When renowned pianist Stephen Kovacevich visited Adelaide in 2002 we were presented with the oddest situation, or so thought UK concert promoter Guy Barrett. Here was one of the superstars of the piano world, flying in from the US to play Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO), a work of 34 minutes’ duration. Ecstatic after the performance, Barrett turned to people seated nearby him in the Festival Theatre and asking: “Where is his recital? Surely a pianist of his calibre is giving a solo concert while he’s here?”

    “No, there is none,” came the answer. Astonished, Barrett remembers thinking it was like a Grand Slam tennis champion coming here just to play a set of doubles. …
  • Stephen Kovacevich brought a remarkable like-mindedness to this partnership.

    22 Feb 2012, 09:26 by piano_kiki

    Sam 18 fév. – Emirate Metro Series

    by ANDREW MILLER • FEB 21, 2012

    Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra continue with the second in their triptych of Beethoven-Richard Strauss concerts which opens their 2012 season. Maestro Ashkenazy, their artistic director for the past few years who usually conducts himself several concerts at the beginning and end of the season (the Eternal Summer!), and the SSO seem to have established a warm and close rapport and respect, to judge from the jocular, playful exchanges and inaudible banter he shares with the orchestra members after the music, shaking hands with all the front-row strings after every concert, as well as from the fine and detailed interpretations they create together. Stephen Kovacevich brought a remarkable like-mindedness to this partnership. He also brought a complimentary attitude so that the concerto was a conversation beyond words between individual beings. The sound of his piano and what Kovacevich expressed therein had a remarkably immediate…
  • On the road ....

    10 Feb 2012, 12:05 by piano_kiki

    by Jack Chenoweth in Classical Music

    The American pianist on rage, bizarreness and "good cop/bad cop" in Beethoven.

    You’re most often associated with Beethoven. What attracts you to his music more than, say, Rachmaninov’s?

    Well I love Rachmaninov, but I just don’t think it suits me as well as other repertoire. I have learnt the concertos, but I haven’t really played them enough to feel comfortable performing them. Schumann, Beethoven and Brahms – somehow they’re wired into me. I don’t know whether people necessarily like the way I play these works, but I feel comfortable, which is what counts.

    How does playing late Beethoven differ from playing early Beethoven?

    I fell in love with late Beethoven when I was 20 after hearing the string quartets. The thing about this music is that it’s so often detached from reality. There’s bizarreness to it. The rage in the Diabelli Variations, for example, is different from the rage you have in the Apassionata Sonata. It’s more philosophical and slightly less earth-bound. …
  • Le piano à l’état pur

    19 Jan 2012, 16:00 by piano_kiki

    Mar. 17 jan. – Piano ****

    Salle Pleyel, Paris
    Le 17/01/2012
    Gérard MANNONI


    Johann-Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
    Prélude et fugue n° 4 en ut# mineur BWV 849
    Partita n° 4 en ré majeur BWV 828

    Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
    Bagatelle n° 11 op. 119 en sib majeur
    Bagatelle n° 8 op. 119 en ut majeur
    Sonate pour piano n° 5 en ut mineur op. 10 n° 1

    Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
    Sonate pour piano n° 21 en sib majeur D960
    Stephen Kovacevich, piano

    Magnifique leçon de piano absolu par Stephen Kovacevich. Dans un programme Bach, Beethoven et Schubert, avec notamment la dernière sonate du maître viennois, ce grand musicien remet les pendules à l’heure, en des temps où les démonstrations d’esbroufe prennent trop souvent le pas sur la sincérité artistique. Chez lui, tout n’est que musique.


    Finalement, il n’y aurait pas grand chose à dire d’un tel concert, si ce n’est que l’on y a vécu deux heures de plaisir musical total. Depuis longtemps…
  • Jacek Kaspszyk and pianist Stephen Kovacevich

    3 Nov 2011, 19:48 by piano_kiki

    Sam 8 oct. – BEETHOVEN SOLO CONCERTOS


    8 October 2011 saw two DFP debutants - namely conductor Jacek Kaspszyk and pianist Stephen Kovacevich. For the reputation that Kaspszyk garnered by winning the Karajan conducting competition in 1978, some of the conducting was quite disappointing.

    In the opening Beethoven Egmont Overture, there was an obvious lack of tension in the earlier sustained portion of the piece. After the initial flaccid opening, I also felt that there was a lack of triumphant feeling at the coda of the overture.

    In the Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1 (part of yet another DFP Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle), 71-year old Stephen Kovacevich took to the stage.
    I remember him very well through his superb Beethoven cycle with Sir Colin Davis and the LSO & the BBC SO. I am still particularly taken with his interpretation of the Emperor Concerto, which is one of the "best" available. Anton Kuerti played the piano in all the concertos in a previous…
  • Wonderful bubbles under the sea

    3 Nov 2011, 19:22 by piano_kiki

    Sam 8 oct. – BEETHOVEN SOLO CONCERTOS



    After the slightly disappointing performance last week following a personally built up hype, I didn’t dare to anticipate what’s in store for me with this week’s performance.

    Oh, but it was awesome. Everything about it was. 8D

    The guest pianist, the guest conductor, the whole Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra musicians participating in Sunday’s performance, the composers of all the pieces played today, the musics they composed and being performed, the concert, heck even the very supportive patrons, the bravos! Everyone and everything were at the right douse of thrill and excitement mixed together and gave me such a joyful Sunday experience! I actually got chills and smiled from ear to ear from such happiness when it ended.

    The pianist, Stephen Kovacevich, really mesmerised me. When he started playing the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, really.. everything else seemed to be muted.. …