Here’s another example of why I love to get comments: Because sometimes they are so enlightening! – the commenter really knows what they’re talking about. The same person who commented on the post: “Better Brahms”- had this to say about the first version of Balikirev’s Islamey (played by Paul Wee): About Islamey, it’s played too fast. The excesive tempo make confuse and without meaning the piece. And on the slow parts he/she fall into mannerisms and use excesive rubato “a la Chopin”.
Too fast indeed! With “mannerisms” too! The Wee version runs 8:02
So … I went “shopping” for a better version! I found this one by Lang Lang who is pretty well respected.(it runs 9:19) Much better methinks! Thanks again Sergei
Lang Lang_15_Balakirev Islamey (Oriental Fantasy)
NOTE: I originally posted this in “Madmen of the Piano” and mentioned how some consider it one of the hardest of all piano pieces to play
Madmen of the Piano (*and the piano’s supreme emotional power – Inspired by, and dedicated to Tam from Retravision in Byron Bay, because he just loves the wild piano stuff! )
Liszt, Chopin and Rachmaninoff
(*Yes indeed … there are lots of other ‘Madmen Pianists’ – but these guys take the cake)
I was thinking the other day – What instruments convey the most ‘intensity’? Drums? Electric guitar (ala Jimmy Hendrix!) … maybe the Sax? (John Coltrain)
For me it’s the piano. Done by the “Masters.”
Here are some intense pieces; some supremely difficult to play: Pieces that blend that ‘wild’ quality – with emotional glory!
Sorry Tam! I didn’t do what I originally intended; which was to introduce only the purely ‘berserk’ numbers. I know you love ‘em … but hey – I might lose listeners!
Dear listener – if these pieces move you, click on the Title on the right, “My Personal Bias” You’ll find gorgeous piano pieces without as much intensity.
Chopin Ballade #1
Rachmaninoff prelude in G Minor (played by “THE Piano man” – no .. not Billy Joel !! but The Big H – Horowitz)
Rachmaninoff prelude in g- minor Vladimir Horowitz-piano
Chopin Fanstasie Impromptu in C sharp minor
Liszt hungarian rhapsody no-2
Here’s another one. This piece is often mentioned in the “hardest to play” category. It is surely “Intense”!
Islamey an Oriental Fantasy by Mily Balakirev. And here’s what a critic said:
Despite some dismissal that the work is merely a showpiece, Islamey has had a lasting impact on piano solo music; Ravel once remarked to a friend that his goal in writing Gaspard de la nuit was to compose a piece that was “more difficult than Balakirev’s Islamey.”