Sunday, May 28, 2006

Jean -Yves Thibaudet

When Ira's brother Dick was here, he noticed in the Vietnam News that the noted pianist, Jean-Yves Thibaudet was to perform in Hanoi and showed Ira the article. Naturally we HAD to get tickets, but the paper did not list the concert in the events column, nor could it be found on our usual source

Ira immediately emailed and sms'd(text message on the mobile which is a great form of communication if you enjoy the dinging sound when a message arrives) to the powers that be at the website.

The first report was that they had not heard of the concert. Later they said that there were no tickets, all having been allocated to Party members and government officials. A subsequent message indicated that there might be two tickets for a special and favored customer but that they might be too pricey.

Well, they were pricey and they did exist so last Friday evening found us in the sold-out Opera House hobnobbing with Hanoi society, or at least that is who we imagined the audience to be. Actually, we did run into two of Carol's colleagues, Ira's Vietnamese teacher, Mr. Huy and the group from the Hanoi Conservatory.

The recital was just great! Thibaudet makes you feel as if he is playing just for you. He has great technique of course, but it is his expressive playing and musicality that makes the night special.

He played Schumann and Ravel during the main part of the program, but the encores were familiar pieces by Chopin that had the audience stamping their feet and clapping. We were pleased to have been a part of this. Perhaps one day we will attend a performance in the US and be able to meet Thibaudet and tell him we heard him in, of all places, Hanoi.


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