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Music Review

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Music Review
The recital last evening in the Chamber Music Room of the Erawan Hotel by US pianist Myron Kropp can only be described by this reviewer as one of the most interesting experiences in a long time. Mr. Kropp had chosen the title "An Evening with Bach"; the evening opened with the Toccata and Fugue in D minor. As I have mentioned on several other occasions, the Baldwin concert grand needs constant attention; in this humidity the felts tend to swell, causing the occasional key to stick, which apparently was the case last evening with the D in the second octave. Some who attended the performance later questioned whether the awkward key justified some of the language which was heard coming from the stage during softer passages of the Fugue. However, one member of the audience, who had sent his children out of the room by the midway point, commented that the workman who greased the stool might have done better to use some of the grease on the second octave D key. Indeed, Mr. Kropp's stool had more than enough grease, and during one passage in which the music was particularly violent he turned completely around. Whereas before his remarks had been largely aimed at the piano and were therefore somewhat muted, to his surprise and that of those in the Chamber Music Room he found himself addressing himself directly to the audience. By the time the audience had regained its composure, Mr. Kropp appeared to be somewhat shaken. Nevertheless he swivelled himself back into position and, leaving the D major Fuge unfinished, commenced on the Fantasia and Fugue in G minor. Why the G key in the third octave chose that particular time to begin sticking I hesitate to guess. However Mr Kropp himself did nothing to help matters when he began using his feet to kick the lower portion of the piano instead of operate the pedals. Possibly it was this jarring, or the un-Bach-like hammerring to which the keyboard was being subjected: something caused the right front leg of the piano to buckle slightly forward, leaving the entire instrument listing at approximately a5 degree angle. A gasp went up from the audience, for if the piano had actually fallen several of Mr. Kropp's tos, if not both his feet, would surely have been broken. It was with a sigh of relief, therefore, that the audience saw Mr. Kropp slowly rise from his stool and leave the stage. A few men in the back of the room began clapping, and when Mr. Kropp reappeared a moment later it seemed he was responding to the ovation. Apparently, however, he had left to get the red-handled fire axe which was hung backstage in case of fire, for when he returned that was what he had in his hand. My first reaction at seeing Mr. Kropp begin to chop at the left leg of the grand piano was that he was attempting to make it list at the same angle as the right leg. However, when the weakened legs finally collapsed altogether with a great crash and Mr. Kropp continued to chop, it became obvious to all that he had no intention of going on with the concert. The ushers, who had heard the snapping of piano wires and splintering of sounding board from the dining room, came rushing in and, with the help of the hotel manager, two indian watchmen and a passing police corporal, finally succeeded in disarming Mr. Kropp and dragging him off the stage.
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Entered on: 04/23/1998
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Copy and paste this into an email to a friend. We can make it easy for you. Mail it off with the Netscrap(TM) MailTool. A slightly abridged, but otherwise unchanged, article by Kenneth Langbell, which appeared in the Bangkok Post on Saturday 27 May, 1967:

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