Meeting Igor Levit I am reminded of Victor Borge’s greeting to Kissin who he encountered in a New York restaurant after his sensational concert at Carnegie Hall.
‘A pleasure to meet you Mr Kissin I read you reviews’ he quipped,’They make me sick!’
All the young generation of pianists that I know have for a long time sung the praises of Levit and Sokolov ad nauseam.
Sokolov I never miss his annual recital in Rome but Levit I have never heard live until today.
I am very pleased to say that there is no doubt for me either today that we are in the presence of someone with such phenomenal energy and total mastery together with an all consuming passion for all he does.
Some might call it genius and he has much in common with that other phenomenon Andras Schiff who is on record as calling Levit a genius.
Takes one to notice one as they both share their knowledge and art with aspiring young musicians as well as gracing the most important concert halls throughout the world with enviable amounts of the piano repertoire.
A three hour Masterclass on his day off from performing the complete Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues and performing the 90 minute Stevenson Passacaglia.
There was no sign or tiredness or irritability.On the contrary there was a man inspired as he was inspiring and with selfless kindness and consideration proceeded to illuminate all that the three remarkable students set before him.
He had asked for Beethoven and got a magnificent Chinese pianist Yuzhang Li, playing the most beautiful of all concertos n. 4 .
Followed by Aidan Mikdad with the most beautiful of the Sonatas op 110.The promised Emperor was changed due to illness to the scintillating youthful n 2 with Gabrielé Sutkuté .As Levit said a cadenza that is a lesson how not to write a fugue!
What a morning as we all left on the crest of a wave of such inspiration …..no wonder Schiff or Levit never sleep,a life in music is too precious to waste on sleep