note: This piece is not intended to be a review of last night’s wonderful Soundstreams concert, The Gismontis at Koerner Hall, but rather a rhapsodic reflection.
Egberto Gismonti exists in multiple dimensions. Listening to him play the piano or guitar is an aural experience of a great mystery: the mystery of living in an exquisitely beautiful multi-dimensional world.
I would have gone home joyously happy after the first solo piano piece on the program, Anéis. The fact that the piano was unmiked and in an acoustically wonderful hall really highlighted the profound depth of his playing. Every aspect of his playing had layers upon layers of great beauty. From a whispering pianisissimo to a thundering triple forte there were always multiple dimensions of sound and clarity. A crescendo that could build and build over a very long stretch of time or a sudden switch: dark to light, joy to sorrow, divine, playful, absurd.
Polyrhythm, (how many meters can ten fingers play at once?) polytonality, polytimbre, polyeverything, really. but never intellectual. poetry in motion.
oh. and did I mention his virtuoso guitar playing? his incredible and fun to play compositions? his gorgeous duets with his son Alexandre and with Jane Bunnett? (bravo Jane!!) but this is not a review…
here’s a taste from a solo piano concert in 2009: