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Pianist Asks Washington Post To Remove Review Under "Right To Be Forgotten"

Potor Take this down too .. (257 comments)

Sparks but no flame: Pianist Dejan Lazic at Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater

By Anne Midgette

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, December 6, 2010; 5:32 PM

Grandiloquence is an occupational hazard for a solo musician. There you are, alone onstage, playing works that are acknowledged to be monumentally great with breathtaking ability. It can be hard to avoid assuming the trappings of greatness.

Exhibit A is Dejan Lazic, who made his Washington debut Saturday afternoon as part of the Washington Performing Arts Society's Hayes Piano Series at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater. Lazic, 33, is a pianist, composer and sometime clarinetist. A few years ago, he made a strong mark as a performing partner of cellist Pieter Wispelwey. More recently, his claim to fame was turning Brahms's violin concerto into something dubbed "Piano Concerto No. 3," which he recorded with the Atlanta Symphony earlier this year. The feat ranks somewhere on the "because it's there" spectrum of human achievement: attention-getting, large scale and a little empty.

His recital of Chopin and Schubert on Saturday was unfortunately on the same spectrum. The selection of those two composers is usually a way to demonstrate a pianist's sensitivity as well as his virtuosity. This performance, though, kept one eye fixed on monumentality. Some of the pieces, such as Chopin's Scherzo No. 2, sounded less like light solo piano works than an attempt to rival the volume of a concerto with full orchestra. This scherzo became cartoon-like in its lurches from minutely small to very, very large.

It's not that Lazic isn't sensitive - or profoundly gifted. The very first notes of Chopin's Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante at the start of the program signalled that he can do anything he wants at the keyboard, detailing chords with a jeweler's precision, then laying little curls of notes atop a cushion of sound like diamonds nestled on velvet. Again and again, throughout the afternoon, he showed what a range of colors he could get out of the instrument, switching from hard-edged percussiveness to creamy legato, crackling chords to a single thread of sound. The sheer technical ability was, at first, a delight.

Soon, though, all of the finesse started to seem like an end in itself. Every nuance of the music was underlined visibly with a host of concert-pianist playacting gestures: head flung back at the end of a phrase; left hand conducting the right hand; or a whole ballet of fingers hovering over keys and picking out their targets before an opening note was even struck at the start of Chopin's Ballade No. 3. There were fine moments, but they stubbornly refused to add up to anything more than a self-conscious display of Fine Moments. The final movement of Chopin's Second Piano Sonata was in a way the most successful part of the program: sheer virtuosity, and perfectly unhinged.

Schubert's B-flat Sonata, D. 960, was a chance to shift into another gear and show a more reflective side, but it was a chance Lazic didn't quite take. The notes, again, were exquisitely placed, and there were things to like, but the human side fell short. All of the precision didn't help bring across the lyricism of the first movement's theme, or the threat of the bass growl that keeps warning off ease from the bottom of the keyboard. The second movement, instead of being a searching, tugging quest, was reduced to merely very pretty music.

The pianist was received with reasonably warm applause, but it didn't last long enough to draw an encore - which ought to get his attention. He's a pianist of prodigious gifts, and he's too good not to do better, to move beyond the music's challenges and into the realm of its soul.

about a month and a half ago

Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Potor Re:If you don't want science... (528 comments)

Or you could think that your comment is clever.

about 4 months ago

How Does a Single Line of BASIC Make an Intricate Maze?

Potor Re:Without the use of a loop!? (438 comments)

this is one of the stupidest /. stories ever -- it is not one line of code, and it is a loop, as you and many others point out.

about 2 years ago

Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

Potor Re:Video killed the radio star (630 comments)

I'm not a coder, but I did do CS in high school back in the pre-Internet late 80s. We first learned flow charts, then algorithms, then had to program functions on calculators, and finally got out hands on TSR-80s to write BASIC programs. The brilliance of this was that my education was not limited to languages, but rather to techniques and logic. And now I teach philosophy, and have a healthy fascination with computers.

As a professor, I ask my students to do the simplest thing - writing blogs with decent lay-out. They have all the tools they need, and I offer whatever help they request. Yet, this Facebook generation often gets confused with the simplest of tasks, including uploading pictures outside of Facebook. The Internet, obviously enough, has dumbed down everything. Students no longer try to apply techniques, but rather to respond to interfaces.

To bring this back on topic - schools need to teach the logic and the basic techniques - with those, one needs simply to learn a language, which is not that difficult.

more than 2 years ago

FCC Boss Backs Metering the Internet

Potor Re:Their wet dream (515 comments)

If they go this way, they may lose money on me.

I have no cable TV subscription, and the only way I watch TV is on Hulu (etc.).

If they meter me, I'll simply revert to my earlier Web activities, which are largely text-based.

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Asserts Trademark On "Book" In New User Agreement

Potor Fakebook (197 comments)

Yo La Tengo released Fakebook in 1990. Lots of prior art there.

more than 2 years ago

Amateur UAV Pilot Exposes Texas River of Blood

Potor Re:Hmmm (388 comments)

Restricted airspace above meatpacking plants and CAFOs?

I could see that coming.

more than 2 years ago

What Happens To Your Files When a Cloud Service Shuts Down?

Potor Mod parent up (592 comments)

The summary is off base here.

more than 2 years ago

Apple's Siri As Revolutionary As the Mac?

Potor Re:Purely out of curiosity (692 comments)

I think there is a huge difference between talking into your phone and talking to it.

more than 3 years ago

Doritos Creator Art West Dead at 97

Potor Re:Ambivalent feelings... (178 comments)

Don't forget the health-care costs associated with long-term processed-food eating. They more than outstrip the savings you realize in food purchases.

Yes, depending how you source your food, obviously cooking can be more expensive. But it does not have to be - even fine cooking.

You can make a batch of home-made tomato sauce that will last a week, and that will cost you under $2. At Whole Foods, you can buy very good meat; for instance, $8 will get you enough chicken to last (me) four meals. With a few vegetables and noodles or rice, you have a stir fry.Some tortillas, you have a burrito. Of course, all these things require pantry items, but they can be purchased in bulk and amortized over many meals. You can bake up a week's worth of cupcakes with ingredients you control, and that'll set you back - actually, I don't know how much, since they too are based on bulk ingredients you can use in many meals.

We need to stop looking at fresh food as an expense, but rather as an investment, especially when we spend so much money on gadgets and subscriptions. Eating well - not extravagantly - is essential for health in the long run. Eating all the sodium and additives your proposed cheap diet offers strikes me as unwise.

more than 3 years ago

Doritos Creator Art West Dead at 97

Potor Re:Ambivalent feelings... (178 comments)

That's complete bullshit. Everyone has time to cook.

You just don't want to.

And I note that every meal you mention is extremely unhealthy.

You may not be so happy in the long run with all the time you saved.

And you're doing it wrong if you really think cooking is more expensive.

more than 3 years ago

Court Says California Stores Can't Ask Customers For ZIP Codes

Potor Re:Have to punch it in at the gas stations now (461 comments)

When I am forced to give my zip at a terminal, I ALWAYS hit random numbers. My card has never been refused.

more than 3 years ago

US Dept. of Justice, ICE Still Seizing Domains

Potor Re:ATDHE.net (252 comments)

ARGH!!!! I loved that site for the EPL and other sports leagues ...

more than 3 years ago

Sensor Measures In Fingertips If Driver Is Drunk

Potor Re:Invasion of privacy?? (549 comments)

It's not the same thing at all. A safety interlock is there to stop you from interfering with a process underway, or from being damaged by an accident (your toaster case).

In neither case did it prevent you from doing what you want.

A better example would be a microwave door handle that would detect your BMI and then decide whether or not you could open it.

In the case of the car, a decision would be made to stop you from initiating a process (a decision that could be deeply flawed, or even a malfunction).

more than 3 years ago

Sensor Measures In Fingertips If Driver Is Drunk

Potor Re:Invasion of privacy?? (549 comments)

It's an invasion of privacy because IT"S MAKING A DECISION FOR YOU (excuse the shouting). It would be as if your car would not start if the seat belt was not done up.

Free agents prefer to make their own - even wrong - decisions.

more than 3 years ago

Slashdot Launches Re-Design

Potor Re:A little too white (2254 comments)

Agreed: the white space is daunting, the


text is far too small, and the top-left slashdot graphic is tiny.

Everything looks shrunken.

more than 3 years ago

Wikileaks Vows Release '7x the Size' of Iraq Leak

Potor Leaky, and 7 times bigger! (491 comments)

They leak, and they have size issues. Sounds like the spam I'm used to.

about 4 years ago

200 Students Admit Cheating After Professor's Online Rant

Potor Re:Wow, tell people to stay away from that college (693 comments)

You may be right.

But I too catch cheaters, and let me tell you my emotions start with nervousness at explaining to the student (individually), and then run to subdued anger.

more than 4 years ago


Potor hasn't submitted any stories.



Intel backs out of OLPC

Potor Potor writes  |  more than 6 years ago The BBC is reporting that Intel is pulling out of the OLPC program. Editorially, the Beeb sees this as a big blow to the program, but I wonder. Not only is Intel a late-comer to OLPC, but it also launched a competing product. Although it does represent a loss of funds and perhaps some technological support, it also weakens the Wintel aspect of the machine and stresses the philosophical and philanthropic goals of OLPC. And I assume that Negroponte can function perfectly well with AMD, who will now presumably have a lock on this market and the goodwill it generates.


Radiohead to release digital download on honour system

Potor Potor writes  |  more than 7 years ago

The Times Online writes that Radiohead, having left EMI, is self-releasing its new album on its Web site as a digital download - and leaving the price up to the consumer. The Times does not note that the same album will be for sale in a physical format as well, at a predetermined price - £40 - and with lots of goodies.

Radiohead's bold new move is a challenge to what many consider the moribund strategy of the record labels, and clearly underlies the difference between music per se and the added value of packaging.

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