Tonight is Maurizio Pollini's Chopin birthday recital at the RFH - his programme includes the 24 Preludes and about two-thirds of the Op.25 Etudes, among other things. Hooray for Chopin and his two birthdays.
Once again it's 'returns only', but if you can't get in don't worry - next year Pollini has a series of no fewer than five recitals at the hall, including almost everything from Bach to Boulez. He is 68, but evidently is not about to hang up his keyboard and head for the golf course.
Admittedly, if I'd been him and I'd seen the feeding frenzy in the UK press that followed last week's Chopin birthday concert I think I'd have quietly booked myself a holiday in the sun instead. On the other hand, perhaps it's encouraging that we're in a time and place where so many people can become so excited/angry/noisy about...a piano recital. So much for music being marginal.
UPDATE: In Poland, they've gone into absolute overdrive for this anniversary. Just try the official Chopin 2010 website - can you imagine any British equivalent doing the same for any of our, er, conquering musical heroes? http://chopin2010.pl/
Speaking of golf, here's another pianist who couldn't be further away from that if he tried: Menahem Pressler, the former driving force of the Beaux Arts Trio, is 86, alive and kicking and playing everything, everywhere - recitals, concertos, quintets, et al. "I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off," he told me the other week. Here's my piece about him from this week's JC.
It's quite something to hear these two within 24 hours of each other, but that's why I live in London.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
- Standpoint Presenting Two Debates At HowTheLightGetsIn 2016
- The Compleat Corbyn — a round-up of Standpoint's Corbyn coverage this month
- We Told You So
- Sir Raymond Carr in Standpoint
- Conduct Unbecoming: The Classical Commentaries of Norman Lebrecht in Standpoint
- Chronicling The Crash: A Standpoint Ebook
- Grounds for Hope
- Is Islam a Peaceful Religion? Daniel Johnson at the Oxford Union
- Win Tickets to the Inaugural Standpoint Salon
- Is Hunter's History Bunk?
- Lawson Collects on Climate Change Bet
- The Cabinet meeting that kept Salman Rushdie alive
- Friends of Russia or Friends of Putin?
- Russia's Win-Win Election
- The Kremlin Plays Old Tricks With Pussy Riot
- A Pyrrhic Victory for Georgian Democracy
- Abandoned in Moscow
- Standpoint's New Facebook Page
- No need to pander to the Bear, Mr Obama
- Standpoint Recommends: The Tacitus Lecture 2012
- Goodbye, Vienna
- Friends Indeed — Daniel Johnson on Gertrude Himmelfarb
- New Culture Forum Lecture: Jeremy Hunt
- Kangaroo Courts Arrive Down Under
- The BBC's painful novelties
- Money can't buy you love - Nichi Hodgson