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Wednesday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 18 Feb 2009

A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION: The Van Cliburn Piano Competition decends on Fort Worth in just a few months. Because it occurs only every four years, it’s a good idea to warm up the crowds a bit. That was the idea Tuesday night as Louis Lortie performed an all Chopin recital at the Kimbell Art Museum. Reviewing […]

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A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION: The Van Cliburn Piano Competition decends on Fort Worth in just a few months. Because it occurs only every four years, it’s a good idea to warm up the crowds a bit. That was the idea Tuesday night as Louis Lortie performed an all Chopin recital at the Kimbell Art Museum.

Reviewing for DFW.com, Chris Shull was thrilled by every note, writing that, “Lortie’s playing was clear and controlled, with meticulous shadings of weight and tone. His performance showcased a muscular, visceral side to Chopin – spirited rather than strictly poetic.”

Meanwhile, Scott Cantrell was impressed at times, bewildered at others. Writing in The Dallas Morning News, he says, “That Lortie had the technical goods was never in doubt … But he took a while to settle into a groove.”

What’s interesting is that the big-finish encore – Ballade No. 1- had the reviewers absolutely divided.

Shull: “The epic Ballade No. 1 served as an encore, as if Lortie wanted to put to the test all the techniques he had demonstrated over the past hour and a half. He passed; we were amazed.”

Cantrell: “A gently promising beginning soon gave way to every kind of self-indulgence; here, Chopin was the loser.”

It doesn’t get more opposing than that.

A YEAR WITHOUT OZZ: Switching gears to a completely different kind of music, Ozzy Osbourne has announced that his annual Ozzfest will take 2009 off as its namesake works on a new album. The tour always drew strong crowds in this hotbed of metalheads, so much so that Frisco’s Pizza Hut Park hosted the only Ozzfest show last summer. That concert featured Ozzy (duh) as well as Metallica, Jonathan Davis and others and was highlighted by a tribute to the late Darrrell Abbott of Dallas’ Damageplan, who was killed onstage in 2004.

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