On Thursday September 27, 2018, an interesting recital was presented at the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall. The program, titled “Clash of Titans” was a recreation of The Pianistic Encounter in 1837 between Franz Liszt and Sigismond Thalberg at the Salon of Princess di Belgiojoso. In this recreation of the event the pianists standing in for Liszt and Thalberg were Asiya Korepanova and Mark Viner.
Thalberg, the composer was represented by his Fantasie on themes from Rossini’s opera Moses and a transcription based on the aria Casta Diva from Norma played by Mark Viner. For me, Viner’s playing, although technically impressive, lacked the color and grace one could remember in Thalberg performances by Earl Wild or Valentina Lisitsa.
The three Liszt transcriptions included the Reminiscences of Robert le Diable by Meyerbeer (also recorded by Earl Wild) and Reminiscences of Don Juan, familiar to us from famous recordings by such great Liszt interpreters as Simon Barere, Jorge Bolet, Shura Cherkassky, Earl Wild, and Grigory Ginsburg among others. The Liszt transcriptions were projected brilliantly by Asiya Korepanova with stunning velocity, dynamic range and color.
Altogether, a fascinating evening