November 13, 2011

Lucille Chung: One good reason why God invented the piano

Julie Albers, Alessio Bax, and Lucille Chung. Three young human beings that make me feel soaringly optimistic about the human race and its future. I was in the audience last night when Lucille Chung played the Concerto pour Piano Nº 2 OP.22 in G Minor by Camille Saint-Saëns. What a gift!

I heard Martha Barnette talking about the difference between mastery and artistry on this week's A Way with Words on public radio. A distinction that immediately set me thinking. Mastery is required, but artistry...artistry is the work of the soul, of the entire human being. It is, in my world, what happens when dance is applied to mastery.

Lucille Chung does not simply "play" the piano. She dances it. Every inch of her frame goes into each note. Even if you could not hear the music, you would remain entranced by her performance and its sheer physical beauty--the grace with which her hands rise into the air after a chord, the architectural slant of her body as she leans into a passage, and the beauty of her wrists, each a miniature gymnast.

If you want a break from what Les Brown calls Constant Negative News (the initials fit CNN, but the term can apply to just about any medium at the moment), from soul-draining political battles, from fear over the world economy, then buy Lucille's CDs, and DO IT NOW.  You will be transported into what matters, will travel into that other world we lose track of, but need to make part of our daily lives: the world of creation, expression, artistry, mastery, and celebration.

Lucille Chung is a master. An artist. A conduit for beauty and grace. She is able to render the most complex of musical passages into something I can only call--pure joy.  Or, as she says on her latest tweet, "I had a blast performing Saint-Saëns Nº 2."  And I had a blast, too, Mme. Lucille Chung, I had a blast, too. Thanks, grazie, gracias, merci y mucho más.

To learn more about this multilingual, articulate, and fun virtuoso, click here.

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