Jiggy Jag TV
Review from last nights in McPherson Kansas:
  For those of you who had other things to do, boy did you miss an event of a lifetime.     
Never.  Never in my life have I seen a piano concert as I did Friday night September 24th.  Sitting next to me was my friend Bill Collier who has played the piano for some 60 or 70 years.  He has had season tickets to the Wichita Symphony for decades.  Around us were people who have appreciated piano for years.  All of us were held in awe while Eric Himy played at the McPherson Opera House.  All of us agreed we had never heard better.

            Before you assume a bunch of high brow, pseudo-intellectuals are once again spouting off about "culture" let me disabuse you of the format and nature of Mr. Himy's superlative performance.  This was not a concert in which an elderly, imperious man in tails marches out on stage and imperiously takes to the piano playing while the audience sits like either little mice or snobs holding their fine opera glasses.  Rather in the Opera House's intimate atmosphere it was if one had invited a great pianist to one's house where you chatted about music, musicians, composers, and then sat around a piano enjoying a spectacular magic show on the keyboard as Himy pulled one rabbit after another out of his musical hat.
            Standing ovations have become so cheap these days.  This isn't just a local phenomenon.  Americans "give it up" for some superbly average performances so much now that it seems an expected result of any amateur or professional act.  I am frequently one of those curmudgeons last to stand as I think to myself, "It wasn't that good."  However, My Himy got standing O's repeatedly- and these were the kind with the audience standing immediately in unison yelling and clapping.  By the second half of the concert the audience was so overwhelmed and moved after each piece that standing and yelling was as natural and deserved as after a 100 yard punt return or a 3 pointer at the buzzer.  It was that kind of feeling.  When it was sadly over, no one wanted to leave.  We stood around looking at the piano and stage where such amazing things had happened as if to say, "I was there the night Eric Himy played".

            The program was based on Gershwin ("American in Pairs" was the spellbinding first piece), but ranged from Chopin to Liszt to Debussy.  Mr. Himy would simply talk about what he was about to play like an affable professor or, at times, like a DJ for the top 40 hits of piano.  He told jokes about composers and anecdotes throughout the performance.  I loved Victor Borge because he was so funny, but I always wanted more piano and less talking.  Himy is a natural at balancing the talk and the playing such that it is entertainment, not high brow boredom.  Believe me, no one drifted off during this performance.

            I also saw (and several audience members confirmed) during Himy's finale what appeared to be smoke or steam rising off the piano! It seemed as if his playing was so energetic that the piano was literally about to burst into flame.  I've never seen that before- never.  Not even Jerry Lee Lewis could do that except with what firemen call accelerants.

            I must commend the Opera House for continuing to book a wide variety of high quality acts.  Concerts such as this which give such joy- live and in person- demonstrate the value of supporting our local efforts.

            Too bad if you missed it.  Wait!  You have another chance.  Eric Himy returns February 12th!  Clear you calendar.

Tyler Hughes


Leave a Reply.


    The latest from JJTV, videos,etc.


    November 2010
    October 2010
    September 2010



    RSS Feed