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Examiner review of pianist Tien Hsieh — 2012 May 8
Examiner review of pianist Tien Hsieh — 2012 May 8

In November of 2010, the pianist Tien Hsieh released a CD with the title Mostly Transcriptions; and since then this has been the predominant theme of the recitals she has prepared for the Noontime Concerts™ series at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral. At today’s recital the composer responsible for that “mostly” adverb was Franz Liszt with a performance of “Il Penseroso” (the thinker) from the second “year” in Italy of the Années de pèlerinage (years of pilgrimage) collection. The title refers to the statue by Michelangelo in the Sagrestia Nuova of the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence (not to be confused with the much later statue by Auguste Rodin, which has the same name in English). This is one of the shorter pieces in the Années collection, and its meditative qualities are enhanced by its Lento tempo and an emphasis on repeated pitches. It was definitely the most austere composition on Hsieh’s program; and it served as a “breather” in the context of the more ornate transcriptions…

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