Russell Sherman, pianist, at Williams and on DVD: Liszt, Transcendental Etudes

Williams has had an exceptionally strong recital program this fall, from its Messaïen tributes, medieval and renaissance music, and Ani Kavafian and Mihae Lee early on to the splendid Brahms violin sonatas of Williams’ own Joanna Kurkowicz and Doris Stevenson (soon to be reviewed) and, in November, the great Russell Sherman. I’m used to driving to Peterborough or Boston to hear him play, and it would be a great thing to be able to rejoice in the convenience of hearing him at home, if it weren’t for the unfortunate combination of Chapin Hall’s acoustics and the Williams Bösendorfer. I’ve never heard any musicians, especially pianists, realize their potential under these circumstances. However, one undeniable advantage was the opportunity to talk with Mr. Sherman during his visit, which included a master class the following day.

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