Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PianoSoft Review: Rising Star Series (2 of 3)

Part 2 of 3: How the Piano Sings; German-Austrian Romantics
For the second part of this series, I will introduce two young, emerging pianists whose performances specialize in pieces by Romantic era composers.

Assaff Weisman Plays Schubert
It may seem a little unusual, especially in terms of classical music, to talk about an artist's appearance. However, Assaff Weisman
(http://www.assaffweisman.com/) is a perfect example of the combination of musical style and his appearance: noble and romantic.

The piano pieces by the noted Austrian composer Schubert seem simple at first, but they require solid and advanced technique to play them musically.

For me personally the piano pieces of Schubert have been one of the touchstones for me to find genuine musicianship as a pianist. If played too romantically they sound cheap and if played played too strictly, they sound, well, boring.

Assaff avoids both pitfalls. His piano touch is perfect to
express the beauty of Schubert's musical stream. His crystal clear piano
sound conveys the sweetness of Romantic era music. This album is an excellent way to enjoy the beautiful timbre of the Yamaha piano.


Eric Huebner "Romantic Revolutionaries"

There are many aspects of music to enjoy: melody, rhythm, even a musician's personality. Often classical music is seperated from other musical genres like rock, pop, or jazz. But you can also find funky and aggressive grooves in classical music.

Of course, we need both great piece and great performer to enjoy this aspect of classical music. The American pianist Eric Huebner provides both. His remarkable sense of rhythm brings a feeling of ecstasy as well as a different aspect of German Romantic music. Particularly Schumann's pieces with fast tempo (no.1 and no.3) are thrilling in their sense of groove.

Eric is a superb pianist not only for traditional music, like these romantics, but also for classical contemporary music like Messiaen and Ligeti. You can see him perform excerpts of their music at http://www.myspace.com/erichuebner.
Products Reviewed:

Assaff Weisman Plays Schubert

Eric Huebner "Romantic Revolutionaries"