Demented piano virtuosity

Such is the wonder of YouTube, that you can find almost any bit of music somewhere, and in the case of great performances, preserve them forever. Piano virtuosity – as opposed to, say, orchestral stuff – particularly lends itself to this. I say virtuosity because some of the more ‘cerebral’ stuff, like late Beethoven, is probably better heard but not seen, such is its profundity no distractions are desirable.

One of the prerequisites for this kind of thing is total command of rhythm. Here are three absolute belters. First, Yuja Wang playing Arcadi Volodos’ jazz-inclined take on Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca

 

 

Next is Volodos himself, playing in someone’s apartment. It’s the awesome Mendelssohn Wedding March & Dance of the Elves (after Midsummer Night’s Dream), S. 410, transcribed by Franz Liszt, further transcribed by Vladimir Horowitz, then fiddled with by Volodos

 

Lastly, Harout Senekeremian’s take on Marc-Andre Hamelin’s deconstruction of various Alkan meisterwerks, which is his Etude no 4 (available as a set here). Just extraordinary.

 

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