by pieces of moments

Liszt. That name brings up mixed emotions for me. I have to admit, the bad feelings outweigh the good on most days. But tonight? Oh, tonight. Tonight I came home and had to paint my freakin’ fingernails shimmery pink – cause I heard some Lizst. Yup. True.

Now, don’t get it wrong, it’s not that I suddenly erased all the little mental check points I hold against the blatant showiness of his work. No, it’s not that. Instead it is that for perhaps the first time in my life I heard Liszt performed the way it should be played – like showbiz, baby.

Maggie, Nick, Nova, and I went down to our neighborhood symphony orchestra (you know, a little old band called the Boston Symphony Orchestra) and who should be playing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 but Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Brilliant. The man even looks kinda like Liszt – they have the same generous nasal cartilage (Liszt vs. Thibaudet…you be the judge)!!! And seigneur Thibaudet apparently wears only clothes made by Vivienne Westwood at concerts? Well, that would make sense – it was a very Westwoody outfit this evening: silky smooth skinny pants with a sparkly belt buckle of some variety, an equally close fitting blazer, and (my favorite touch) a white button down shirt, that wasn’t really buttoned up, with a stiffly starched collar adorned by nothing but the skin of his upper chest that was showing (o-la-la). Amazing. Of course he did all the right things, gesturing wildly when called for, shrinking to display his introspection, etc. And last but not least, just did a phenomenal job with that tremendously difficult piece. Really, I think that if I ever care to hear a concert with Liszt on the program ever again it will be seigneur Thibaudet that will get me to come on out and buy a ticket.

And are you ready for the big scoop now? For the first time in my whole concert going life (a solid 2 decades +) at intermission I was chattering away with Nova about the state of arts (musical and visual) education and who do I see through the open door from the hall into the hallway? seigneur Thibaudet. He, escorted by either a fellow Frenchman or a Bostonian who speaks impeccable French, proceeded to take the long way into the hall, walking right past us, around and over to sit down in the hall to watch the Dvorak Symphony No. 6!!!!!! What?! I love it. And what’s more to love is the sport jacket he donned in place of his fancy black one for onstage: dark with bright burgundy/gold stripes, collar popped (true Bostonian style). Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes. Maggie thinks that she saw a Ralph Lauren label on the jacket…I knew you were wondering. We were, too. Hmmm…if I had a designer to make my concert clothes I think I’d have to go with Giambattista Valli (check out the video of his Spring 09 collection by clicking “In Motion” and note that kinda ridiculously awesome remix version of Brahms’ Rhapsody in G Minor op. 79, no. 2 – love that slower tempo!).

Oh, but wait – where there’s Thibaudet there’s more! When we went to leave he walked right in front of me (our beings were literally inches from each other) and I heard him say in the most glamorously slow motion pensive way (insert your own version of a French accent) “Ve-rrrrrrrrrrr-yyy eck-citinnnnggggg”. I leave interpretation on that utterance to you, but I guess it’s safe to say he liked good old Symphony 6…I’m going to guess he just likes a good furiant.

All this Liszt talk brings to mind my favorite video clip about Liszt from the movie Lisztomania (yup, that’s Roger Daltrey in the staring role):

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