September 21, 2012


A writing exercise was well underway when I showed up late, again, for my third grade 
Russian language class.  The teacher, a large woman with the crudely chiseled body of a socialist realist public sculpture, looked happy to see the little fucker who often had more important things to do than to come to her class on time.  Had I missed the class, I could have pleaded illness or family business and avoid the failing grade, which now I would surely get because there wasn’t enough time left for me to do the required work.

September 7, 2012

Ran Dank again

Ran Dank's musicianship and instrumental craft continue to elicit my undiminished admiration.  Everything about Dank's music-making strikes me as remarkably natural: his seemingly effortless but never showy technique, unobtrusively beautiful tone, intelligent but not studied approach to phrasing and dynamics, and pervasive yet restrained lyricism that never ventures toward sentimentality.  These qualities are also evident in Dank's performance of Bach's Fourth Partita, a live recording from the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition, which is new to my blog.  I also include Dank's performance of two preludes and fugues from the Well-Tempererd Clavier (E flat minor from Book 1 and C major from Book 2) recorded live at the 2007 Cleveland Piano Competition (where Dank received 4th Prize).