Monday, June 9, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion of a Virtuoso

Well as my good friend and blogger Pawlina says over at the Nash Holos blog, "There is nothing wrong with shameless self-promotion!" Hence, I am taking a lesson from her and while it doesn't directly apply it does apply to an artist that I manage. Her name is Ethella Chupryk and I have mentioned her here on this blog and there are tidbits scattered around the Internet about her, but really folks while pictures speak louder than words, so do images and sounds.

The following embedded video is Ethella Chupryk performing the Tannhaeuser Overture also known as the Overture to Tannhaeuser.

The work was orginally composed by Richard Wagner in 1845 for his Opera Tannhäuser (full title Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg / Tannhäuser and the Singers' Contest at Wartburg) an opera in three acts.

Later Franz Liszt who was a friend of Wagner's transcribed the overture 1849 in such a way and so closely to the original score that when Wagner heard it to told Liszt "It was like a wonderful dream come true", according to Robert Finley. In addition he adds in his article about the piece, "It is a very difficulty piece to play, containing almost every virtuoso technicality possible such as octaves in both hands, arpeggios, tremolo accompaniment, and two or more melodies playing together at the same time."

When I read the Liszt biography, linked to above, I realized that the virtuosity of Liszt's transcription of this piece could only be performed by someone who dedicates as much time and perfection to a piece as he who wrote it. This is the way Ethella Chupryk understands music, she digs into the core of a piece, the composer, his history to find exactly what he was trying to say. This I can say without a doubt when it comes to the video above, as well as anything she undertakes. This performance took place in 1998 in Bayreuth Germany at the Markgraeflichen Opernhaus.

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