An Unabashed Champion of Chopin and Liszt…
Unfashionable? Perhaps. But you know what? Critics not only let him get away with it, they actually listen and drool over the brilliant delicacy of his playing! Yes, sometimes fans and critics do agree…
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…as they do about his Liszt Opera Transcriptions, and his Rachmaninoff performances, among other things. And that’s probably because he makes familiar music sound fresh.
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One could call him a Romantic…. of the French School, yes, but also of the German (he’s half-German, remember?) and the Russian… But actually, Jean-Yves believes today there are no longer schools of music as such. A citizen of the world, he will go wherever his mind and heart take him, and will play music that suits his fancy if he’s certain he can play it well.
Several years ago, Jean-Yves recorded – between concert performances – the complete cycle of Rachmaninoff’s works for piano and orchestra with pianist and conductor VLADIMIR ASHKENAZY directing the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA. (In his younger days, ASHKENAZY was the Russian composer’s foremost interpreter). For Jean-Yves, it was a dream fulfilled – sooner than he had expected. And once again, critics expressed approval of the beautiful sound of Jean-Yves’ unembarrassed sentimentality.
Jean-Yves has also taken on the German Romantics. But he waited a while before he began playing their music in public performances. He waited until he was a bit older before he played Brahms because “the sound I want to achieve is not the sound of a young man”. Today he has a recording of BRAHMS’ Paganini Variations and SCHUMANN’s Etudes symphoniques, and one can hear him play two SCHUBERT Impromptus in the soundtrack of the movie .Portrait of a Lady
In the future, there will certainly be more (like the Brahms Piano Concertos). But he wisely believes in waiting, and for diverse reasons. Though he has not recorded him yet, he now plays Beethoven in concert. And someday, when he feels he has something new to add, he too will play Mozart but not yet – not while there are virtuosos like MURRAY PERAHIA, whom he greatly admires, who play Mozart perfectly.
But does Jean-Yves stick only to standard concert repertory? Definitely not. Check out his discography and the pages that follow and you’ll find that, true to character, he does venture off the classical repertoire’s beaten path.
- GC© FanFaire
THIBAUDET: Master of the French Impressionists A Crossover Artist