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Van Cliburn


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#1 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:52 AM

MSNBC reported just now that Van Cliburn had passed away at age 78. There will of course be more detail soon.

#2 Helene

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:02 AM

Rest in peace Mr. Cliburn.

#3 AlbanyGirl

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:50 PM

My husband and I are so very sad about Mr. Cliburn's passing. In my house growing up, Van was The Man. We loved his recordings. I never saw him perform live, but my husband did. Excerpted from CNN today, in Mr. Cliburn's own words at the end of the ticker-tape parade NYC gave him after winning the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in 1958:


[font=arial]"I appreciate more than you will ever know that you are honoring me, but the thing that thrills me the most is that you are honoring classical music," Cliburn said. "Because I'm only one of many. I'm only a witness and a messenger. Because I believe so much in the beauty, the construction, the architecture invisible, the importance for all generations, for young people to come that it will help their minds, develop their attitudes and give them values. That is why I'm so grateful that you have honored me in that spirit."[/font]

May God bless you, Mr. Cliburn, you gave the world such beauty!

#4 ballet_n00b

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:28 PM

I know a lot of pianophiles don't really know what the make of Cliburn; achieving great success early on then burning out after a decade or so, but I think at his best he was a great pianist.
In particular, his romantic concerti recordings are often amongst the best versions out there (e.g. Rach 3).

#5 dirac

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:08 PM

I’m hardly expert enough to comment, but I gather that “early promise largely unfulfilled” as described in Anthony Tommasini’s obit for the NYT seems fair enough. Too much, too soon, perhaps (and possibly the temptation of easy money by sticking with the tried and true).

 

Despite the criticism, Mr. Cliburn tried to expand his repertory, playing concertos by MacDowell and Prokofiev and solo works by Samuel Barber (the demanding Piano Sonata), Chopin, Brahms, Beethoven and Liszt. But the artistic growth and maturity that were expected of him never fully came. Even as a personality, Mr. Cliburn began to seem out of step. In the late 1950s this baby-faced, teetotaling, churchgoing, wholesome Texan had fit the times. But to young Americans of the late 1960s he seemed a strained, stiff representative of the demonized establishment.



#6 Jack Reed

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:37 PM

[size=3] [/size]

... to young Americans of the late 1960s he seemed a strained, stiff representative of the demonized establishment.


To the extent that that was true, that was their problem. You go to the art, you don't corrupt it to suit the fashions of the day, or you deprive yourself of that experience. "Fashions come and go, but a thing of beauty is a joy forever." Cliburn took us to the worlds of the pieces he played. His unfailingly beautiful tone was always in modest service of what he played, and consequently in service to the listener who had learned to hear.

#7 dirac

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:07 PM

The latter part of the paragraph is referring to Cliburn's public persona, not his music. I didn't have the feeling that Tommasini was saying it was anyone's problem - times change and in certain periods performers can seem, rightly or wrongly, old hat. Sometimes they come back, sometimes not.

His unfailingly beautiful tone was always in modest service of what he played,.......


Very nicely put, thank you.


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