I confess, I don’t know a lot about classical music. My family never listened to it when I was growing up. I did have one teacher in elementary school that forced his classes to listen to classical music a couple times a week. He would try to explain the different movements etc. At the time, I found it boring but looking back, I can see how he was trying to do us a favor.
I say that as a preface because this evening I went to see the Canadian pianist, Katherine Chi. I like mixing up the types of music I see because I think it helps open up inspiration to be used later. Ms. Chi played 8 pieces for about an hour and a half show. She clearly has earned her reputation as I – and the audience as a whole – were caught up in her playing.
Of the 8 pieces performed, the last two were my favorite. Alexina Louie composed a piece specifically for her, ‘Put On Your Running Shoes’, that was highly difficult and extremely entertaining at the same time. Only someone of Ms. Chi’s skill level would even dare attempt that piece.
The last piece, Chopin’s “La ci carem lamano”, Op. 2, was a fantastic way to end the performance. Chopin always carries an extra degree of difficulty and this was no exception. It captured the audience’s attention and carried them straight to a standing ovation.
Ms. Chi tried to explain the differing styles between each piece. My ignorance comes into play when this happens because musical terms are not something I have memorized. I’d probably have better luck (though not much) at the Chemistry Element Table. I also think she struggled a bit with this physically because it was pretty clear she probably wasn’t feeling well. There has been a lot of flu/colds in this area – had it myself – and I couldn’t help but wonder if she had caught something. She looked it and she seemed to struggle to keep her voice going when speaking. But hey, we came to see her play anyway and that she did.
I know she travels the world so if by chance the wonderful Katherine Chi happens to be in your city, I recommend taking a couple hours out of your schedule to see her play. Trust me when I say, you won’t see many during your lifetime this good at making those keys sing. As a footnote, I did try to find a Youtube clip of her playing but apparently there aren’t any which is really a shame.