Such a sad evening. The Chopin Sonata was unrecognizable, the Mephisto Waltz might just as well have been played backwards, and clearly, the Wunderkind I fell at the feet of thirty years ago has completely lost it. ‘Incoherent’, which is how a journalist at the New York Times described his playing in 2006, was the least of his problems. He no longer appears to have a technique, an appreciation of rhythm, or any memory of the notes. He slammed his foot down on the sustaining pedal with the subtlety of a pneumatic drill. It was both horrifying (that he even gets a gig these days) and tragic (he was such an artist). The best playing he managed was before the concert began, as he sat at the piano wearing a beanie and chatting with passersby (see below). Not a good sign. We left after the first half.
The Konzerthaus itself was as gorgeous and alluring as ever. We sat in Loge 8. We’ve never sat there before, and had never seen the fish (ditto) or the detail on the ceiling (double ditto). The best thing was that the chairs were freestanding and extremely comfortable.