New York Classical Review: Pianist Hardink climbs nearly every mountain in virtuosic program
by David Wright
In a week when the Academy Award for Best Documentary went to a film about a man climbing a 3,000-foot cliff without a rope, an analogous musical event took place at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall Tuesday night.
Citing “a preoccupation with testing the limits of what is physically possible by any one pianist sitting at the instrument,” Jason Hardink dispatched, from memory, as much of the gnarliest piano music from Liszt to Xenakis as would fit into a two-hour program.
Yes, it sounds like a stunt, but as both the concert (presented by Key Pianists) and the film demonstrated, one man’s stunt is another man’s spiritual quest—or as Hardink put it in his program notes, “a glimpse of the beyond, a spiritual territory brought to light by a deep musical striving for the seemingly impossible.”