John Man, a young concert pianist and frequent talker, saw one of his rivals perform at London’s Barbican Centre last night. He is reported to have said that the concert wasn’t really that great.
“I came home straight after the concert and watched a few of the same pieces on YouTube, played by Martha Argerich, Artur Rubinstein and Sviatoslav Richter. I mean, they were just way better.”
Man was not impressed by Sally McNally’s brilliant technique, sensitive artistry, nor her commanding stage presence. “Everybody has that,” he said. “What else can she do?”
He was particularly disappointed with her repertoire choices, complaining that she did not include any Cziffra transcriptions as he would have done had he finished learning any of them or was ever offered a concert at the Barbican. “I mean, with all this Beethoven and Bach she played, how could we judge her ability play lots of fast, unnecessary notes?”
Though he doesn’t have an agent or a record deal or any upcoming engagements at all, Man was able to expound at length upon the best recording of Chopin’s first Ballade for us. “I’m studying classical piano at a really, really prestigious sounding place,” he said, “and that’s why I’m going to be concert pianist.”
We asked him if he would ever see Sally perform again, or if he was going to dramatically cut ties with her completely. “Well, perhaps if she matures more as a musician and really begins to plumb the unfathomable depths of these great masterpieces in a way that I can instantly appreciate, then I might deign to get another free student ticket to one of her concerts.”