Yeah, yeah. We’re busy. We’re busy with all kinds of important things. Since our last public service announcement, we have collectively produced at least eight babies (six others are probable), three ex-wives (Sator does not count the one in Haiti), ruined at least two businesses, wrote three dissertations (two of which are still in the works, or not), and, in our spare time, have been making plans for the upcoming zombie apocalypse. (If anyone has or knows anyone who has property in eastern Idaho and is looking to sell, please feel free to contact us via this site)
Unfortunately, this means that we’ve neglected our duties to the Detritus Review and to our generous sponsors, to whom we are eternally grateful. (ASCAP has yet to send me any checks, so I am especially thankful) But rest assured, dear Detritusites, you have always been in our prayers. Not to say that you can’t take care of yourselves in these distressing times; but, rather, we feel it is our duty to keep the critics in check so you don’t have to. Wasted time falls short of the tree…or something.
So, apologies all around.
And believe you me, I know it feels like a hundred and fifty years since last time; which is why today I feel the need to make up for our…
Wait. What’s that you say? Debussy’s sesquicentennial is this year! O.M.G. [sic] I know; he had a weird, misshapen head. And…what…there are no real plans to celebrate? That’s…what? Okay. Yeah. Yeah. But…oh, good. Whew! There was a piano recital on which the second book of Preludes were…who? Thibaudet? He’s pretty good, if I recall.
He confidently handled Debussy’s structural challenges…
By playing them, one assumes, because they are written that way. That and he is a confident pianist who is playing the piano.
It’s almost as if the very idea of form is something like kryptonite to pianists—could it be that they writhe in pain just at the sight of rounded-binary? Either way, Thibaudet seems to have overcome this stereotypical weakness. Good for him. Otherwise form might’ve hijacked all the oil tankers, thus further impeding the average hog rider’s thirst for freedom.
On the other hand, perhaps I’m overreacting. Perhaps structure, here, is synonymous with effect. [Thinks about it]
Nah. That’s crazy!
He confidently handled Debussy’s structural challenges, as in the gradual shifts of tone that give the effect of a mist lifting in the prelude “Terrasse des Audiences du Clair de Lune.”
At least this wasn’t from the New York Times. Can I get a holler!
Well, don’t that just pee down my neck and call it a broomstick with more words!
His textural variety, from twinkle to velvet, was gorgeous in the “Suite Bergamasque” and the three “Estampes.”
See figure 1.
Figure 1. Kepler’s famous Textural scale
And finally, let’s play a game.
As he finished the last swoop up the keyboard in the final selection, “L’Isle Joyeuse”…
Cast your vote now! What happened after the last swoop?
A. Thibaudet played an encore by Chopin, spoiling the birthday celebration.
B. One audience member finally stopped coughing.
C. Leonard Bernstein made an appearance, combed his hair.
D. A lifelong Hells’ Angel member made everyone uncomfortable with piercing irony.
And now for the answer! If you guessed B, one audience member finally fucking stopped coughing, you’d be wrong.
As he finished the last swoop up the keyboard in the final selection, “L’Isle Joyeuse,” a bald, bearded man in a T-shirt sitting near the front burst out of his seat with a whoop, arms in the air as if at a rock concert. You go, dude.
Figure Free Bird