Van Cliburn: An Appreciation

Airs Friday at 7 pm and Sunday at 12 pm

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pianists, Americans and the world lost one of the most iconic musicians of the second half of the 20th century on February 27. A mild-mannered Texan, a hero of the Cold War and the concert stage, Van Cliburn's touch reached millions all over the world. Join pianist, teacher and author David Dubal for an hour-long special, Van Cliburn: An Appreciation. 

In so many ways, Van Cliburn was the man of the hour. As a youngster he was the most luminous talent at the Julliard School. As a pupil of the legendary teacher Rosina Lhevinne, he was in a class of his own. He dazzled his own classmates. At piano competitions, he too was the man of the hour. Everything he touched, it seemed, turned to gold. 

Dubal offers his personal memories and appreciation of the late Van Cliburn in this survey of the legendary pianist’s recordings.

Playlist:

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23

Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43, Variation 18

Beethoven: Bagatelle for Piano in A minor, WoO 59 "Für Elise"

Scriabin: Etude for Piano, Op. 8: no 12 in D sharp minor

Tchaikovsky: Song of the Lark

Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin: no 6, Toccata

Brahms: Waltz for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 15 in A flat major

Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 (Allegro con fuoco)

Rachmaninoff: Prelude for Piano, Op. 32: no 5 in G major

Rachmaninoff:   Prelude for Piano, Op. 23: no 7 in C minor

Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op. 15: no 7, Träumerei

Chopin: Etude for Piano, Op. 10: no 12 in C minor, B 67 "Revolutionary"

Rachmaninoff: Prelude for Piano, Op. 32: no 12 in G sharp minor

Rachmaninoff:  Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (Finale Alle breve)

Hosted by:

David Dubal

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Comments [17]

Richard Sterne from New York City

WQXR - bring back the great David Dubal!

Mar. 05 2013 11:45 AM
Valerie Austin from Manhattan, New York

A beatiful tribute to Van Cliburn. I miss David Dubal's interesting and delightful program that compared and illustrated different styles and techniques of playing the piano. WQXR is my station of choice for classical music and I wish you could include Dubal again.

Mar. 04 2013 04:34 PM
M Beland from Madison, NJ

Thank you, WQXR, for airing this appreciation. In response to some who have wondered where they can hear more from Mr. Dubal, he has a weekly program entitled "The Piano Matters", available via WWFM.org.

Mar. 04 2013 03:01 PM
Ronald from Oldwick NJ

What a wonderful tribute to Maestro Cliburn and who better to this deliver this appreciation than David Dubal!

Mar. 03 2013 11:06 PM
Aviva A from New York

Thank you David Dubal. What a program, what music selection, what a tribute! Captivating! Nobody could have done it better. Van Cliburn is very pround and now can rest in peace.

What happened to David Dubal's program??? Why can't we have more of his knowledge and talent shared with us???

Mar. 03 2013 10:42 PM
Peter Feldman from New York City

I never saw Van Cliburn but I saw Artur Rubinstein and Claudio Arrau as well as many other famous pianists. I understand that Van Cliburn was an eccentric with big hands who mainly played Russian music in Russia. Anyway, listening his recordings tells me that many current pianists play as well or better than him. Evgeny Kissin probably plays piano better than Van Cliburn did. All the fame of Cliburn is that he was admired in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Mar. 03 2013 07:36 PM
Elizabeth from Manhattan

Another wonderful example of exceptional programming from David Dubal. No one else could have done justice to the memory and the music of the great Van Cliburn.

Mar. 03 2013 01:42 PM
Robert from NYC

I loved the comments and the music. Thank you.
There is one observation however, that i would like to make here.
In the Soviet Union it was possible to award the first prize of a coveted national competition to an American. In the Soviet Bloc -- American films, books, culture were a part and parcel of life.

In the United States by contrast, it would have been inconceivable for a Soviet Artist -- unless he was a dissident or a political refugee -- and thus politically approved by this establishment-- to gain any acknowledgement or any mass aproval, in this society.
The people in the West, for all its self proclaimed 'freedom', were never free to admire anyone from the Soviet Bloc unless he or she was a dissident. Van Cliburn became a media 'Star' in the U.S. not because he was such a talent (as he indeed was), but because of the propaganda value to the 'Gate-Keepers' of this society which have always made sure that only the aproved message gets through in the U.S. It is just done so much more subtly and insidiously.

No one ever mentions this,

Mar. 03 2013 01:41 PM
R Han from Manhattan, New York

I just heard the magnificent tribute to Van Cliburn by the great David Dubal. The programing of the hour was perfection . Here is an example of what radio can be. DAVID DUBAL in my opinion is the finest Programer of classical music in the history of broadcasting. I have been following him with his velvet voice for many years. I thank WQXR for bringing him back to us. May Mr. Cliburn rest in peace.

Mar. 03 2013 01:17 PM
Paul from Brooklyn, NY

Another great broadcast with David Dubal. He is wonderful to listen to. He should be on WQXR more often.

Mar. 03 2013 01:00 PM
JK Evans from Hackensack, NJ

Stirring stuff. Thanks for letting the music speak so wonderfully for the man.

Mar. 02 2013 06:24 PM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

M. Weinstein:

The last piece played, after the final credits, was the finale of the Rach 3, as listed above in the final listing.

Go to about 11:30 in this Youtube of Rach playing the Rach 3.

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.3 Op.30, III.Finale - alla breve
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYhlU6sAOAw

Mar. 02 2013 04:51 PM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

'An appreciation of an individual's art' - a loose quote of Mr. Dubal in this podcast.

No one on WQXR or anywhere that I've listened in on comes close to Mr. Dubal in enlightening the qualities that make for virtuosity in the piano. It's a shame that someone has to die to get that quality here.

Thanks to Mr. Cliburn for the beauty he's 'shown' us that we're fortunate enough to still be able to enjoy - and to Mr. Dubal for giving us the details of the transient clockwork jewels that are fundamental to that timeless beauty.

P.S. Could this podcast have been buried at the site any more completely? I don't think so. Good effort there.

Mar. 02 2013 04:31 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NI

Kudos to DAVID DUBAL whose program illustrated the technical and interpretive talents of VAN CLIBURN. All the selections listed above were performed with a relish, devoid of self serving lacrymosity, but with genuine deep-felt empathetic emotional accord. Thank you DAVID DUBAL for your fitting tribute to a real MENSCH, VAN CLIBURN !!!

Mar. 01 2013 08:19 PM
Jetta Weinstein from Brooklyn, NY

I loved the program; which was the piece played after the last listed Rachmaninoff, the piece which started around 7:56 or 7:57 pm?

Mar. 01 2013 07:58 PM
Sally Dwek

What a wonderful hour hosted by David Duval...is it going to be repeated and why don't we have more of David Duval? - he is so knowledgeable and such a pleasure so listen to. His "appreciation of Van Cliburn" was amazing.
Thank you!

Mar. 01 2013 07:56 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

ALL THE WORLD ADMIRED VAN CLIBURN FOR HIS GREAT TALENT AND HIS WARM OUTGOING PERSONA. A JUILLIARD ALUM MYSELF, BEFORE HIS LANDMARK TSCHAIKOWSKY TRIUMPH, I, WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, WATCHED HIS TICKER TAPE PARADE AND MY MOM , BROTHER DR. BEN LANE AND I ATTENDED HIS CARNEGIE HALL CONCERT AND SPOKE WITH HIM AFTERWARDS BACKSTAGE. THAT TALL , L ANKY HANDSOME TEXAN DID MORE FOR A FRIENDLIER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE RUSSIANS THAN ANY POLITICIAN. THE COLD WAR THREATENING PEACE WAS MADE LESS MENACING. R.I.P. VAN CLIBURN. THE WORLD MOURNS YOUR PASSING.
WQXR HAS PLAYED EARLIER, YESTERDAY, HIS RECORDING OF HIS WINNING TSCHAIKOVSKY PRIZE-WINNING ENTRY.
IT WAS REMINDFUL TO ME OF HIS PERFORMANCE AT CARNEGIE HALL. SO POWERFUL, SO PRECISE , SO IMPASSIONED, SO EXCITING AS FEW PERFORMANCES IN ANY CATEGORY EVER ACHIEVE. UNICO, ICONIC VAN CLIBURN WILL REMAIN A HERO TO THOSE WHO RESPECT GREAT TALENT APPLIED TO AFFECT POSITIVELY THE PUBLIC'S INTERACTION WSITH EACH OTHER.

Mar. 01 2013 06:15 PM

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