Valentina Lisitsa, the pianist who uniquely launched her career via Youtube instead of any other conventional means, signed to Decca at the beginning of this year. She has previously recorded for such labels as Audiofon and VAI, and her debut album is out this month – live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Lisitsa is a unique phenomenon in the sense that her international fame rose almost entirely due to her publicity work on Youtube. Having watched many of her videos we at Top Ear can say nothing against her reputation as a blockbuster virtuoso with an extraordinary mechanism, but most often are disappointed by her musicality. Nonetheless, her penchant for Bösendorfers (the lowest notes of that 97-key Imperial!) as well as her clips showing off her technique (such as her entry for “World’s Fastest Pianist” competition) make good entertainment.
This debut album contains mostly famous pieces by very famous composers such as Liszt, Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Chopin. There is some Scriabin included; however, Scriabin has become somewhat of a mainstream composer nowadays, so it’s no surprise. Rachmaninov’s popular G minor prelude starts the recital, and it runs the gamut of pieces such as the horrendously overplayed Für Elise, La Campanella, Chopin’s Op. 9 No. 2 Nocturne, Moonlight Sonata and Liszt’s 3rd Liebesträum, while including the less common selection of Scriabin’s etudes and Poèmes, Chopin’s several other nocturnes and some of Rachmaninov’s etudes.
Now normally with other albums, you’d have to wait for its official release before you can have a chance to even hear a shred of it. However, this time if you’re a Lisitsa fan and are dying to know how she performs, you’re in luck, because Lisitsa has already uploaded her complete live recital on Youtube–she always uploads her live performances on Youtube.
On the whole Jeremy is not terribly interested in this new release.
Leonard is not terribly interested in this new release, too.