From music critic Lindsay Koob:
showpieces, courtesy of pianist-conductor Olivier Reboul. On the menu
were two splashy, knuckle-busting operatic transcriptions by Franz
Liszt that (along with many of his other works) set the standard for
romantic-era piano virtuosity. Reminiscences of Don Giovanni is built on three themes from this year’s (and last’s) Mozart opera, and the other is based on a waltz from Gounod’s Faust — his most famous operatic effort. Pianistic dignity and grace was restored with Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, a piece that, in its own way, is just as difficult.
Reboul met most challenges admirably, wowing everybody with
pianistic leaps and bounds, sparkling runs, thundering octaves, and
finger-twisting filigree that drive ordinary pianists like me to
despair. He was at his best in the soft, but rapid pianissimo passages,
offering uncanny clarity and control, even when his fingers were a blur
to the eye. Sure, he missed a few notes — but you gotta wonder if even
Liszt himself ever got through these without some finger-slips. The
subtle colors and textures he achieved in the Ravel were intoxicating.
Please sir, we want some more. (We’ll next hear Reboul as conductor, in