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Mixed Company is written by Saint Paul Sunday staff, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the show and the classical music they love. We welcome your online comments.

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November 18, 2005

Perfect Storms

I first met the young Israeli pianist Shai Wosner when he came with two Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center companions, bassoonist Milan Turkovic and clarinetist David Shifrin, for music of Beethoven and Glinka. The three played beautifully together, and Shai spoke eloquently about both composers, revealing himself to be as insightful (even about Glinka!) and occasionally as wry as he was splendid at the piano.

In the time between then and this week’s program, Shai won the Avery Fisher Award along with more hearts of fans and critics alike. It’s wonderful to have him back in the studio on his own for music of Chopin, for whom he clearly has great affinity, Schumann, and again Beethoven, this time in the “Tempest” sonata.

By turns noble, obsessive, ecstatic, and mercurial, the “Tempest” both defined and stirred into life a whole new world for Beethoven and for music—one Shai himself inhabits with arresting presence. To my ear, the brief Schumann Nachtstück he performs just before (yet another instance of Schumann’s surpassing melodic gifts) prepares us as well as anything could for the wide-ranging exploration we take with this remarkable pianist.

Posted by Vaughn Ormseth at November 18, 2005 6:08 PM



Shai Wosner exhibited such tremendous wisdom tempered by just the right amount of sensitivity. His skill was quite deft, but above all his approach wonderfully deliberate. I loved the wide range of moods in the Chopin. How the music flowed & was also maturely restrained, The composer & pianist here so well matched. The Beethoven music was refreshingly saturated with longing. I'd like to hear even more of the Shumann-with Shai at the keyboard! An especially good program even sans our usual host. I listened twice, thank you!

By vinca k. renner at November 20, 2005 2:09 PM


Yayyy Shai Wosner! Bravo! I pulled over to listen to the last 10 mins of the Tempest and whooped out loud when he finished. I'm sure people driving by my open window thought me crazy - for not the first time! - unless they were listening too. Love Saint Paul Sunday on KING and KUAT. Keep it up. Thank you. HLD

By Hugh Davidson at December 17, 2005 9:10 AM