Famous piano hotlips is at it again

Famous piano hotlips is at it again


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2019

Curb your impatience and watch to the end. You may never feel the same about music again.


  • Gerry Feinsteen says:

    never seen all these names in one paragraph.


    “On 19 January 2012 Astanova made her Carnegie Hall debut.[10] A special Tribute to Vladimir Horowitz gala concert was chaired by Donald Trump and hosted by the Academy Award Winner Julie Andrews.[11] Horowitz’s student, American pianist Byron Janis was among the concert’s attendees.[12] All proceeds from the performance were donated to the American Cancer Society.”

    • Robert Groen says:

      Unfortunately, I will probably never know what she played and how she played it. I might, if I’m lucky, to get a few glimpses of her thighs, cleavage and blown-up lips. The reason for that is that, whenever a girl who doesn’t dress like a Mother Theresa, or looks like Golda Meir, dares to sit at a keyboard dressed in the style of the moment, she is put away as a tart. I challenge all those decency champions (who feel offended by being forced to watch women in short skirts, high heels and jazzy haircuts) to deny the brilliance of, say, Yuja Wang, Julia Fischer, and all the good looking ladies (bless them!) who appear on our concert podia today.
      That said, Lola Astanova (who, I’m sure, must know her limitations as well as her selling points) is not the greatest pianist in the world -though very much better than I will ever be- but she is tapping a market that, obviously, is there for her to tap. The Liszt video clip (not, as some old duffer seemed to claim, a concert where the audience never turned up or left early) is aimed at a specific young public, for a specific purpose (an aftershave advert, perhaps) and more power to her. The musical inquisitionists (you know who you are) may scoff as they would. I, for one, am happy to hear Liszt played, whoever plays him. The joys of the eye do not necessarily conflict with those of the ear….just listen to Khatia Buniatishvili playing Schumann without looking at her boobs. I know it’s difficult, but it can be done. She’s a good pianist, give or take some dodgy fingering….

  • Ricardo says:

    Oh, dear God. Why? Oh, why??

  • Ben G. says:

    Even though Lola is a very fine performer, we all know that Nobuyuki Tsujii can play the same piece WITHOUT a blindfold:


  • barry guerrero says:

    Not sure why I’m supposed to feel differently about music. I want to discuss the Fazioli piano. I’m not a piano expert by any means, but my ears tell me that the Fazioli works great in baroque music, but is perhaps not so great for 19th century music. Anybody else share that same viewpoint?

    • MusicBear88 says:

      I think the upper register sounds absolutely terrible here, very thin and brittle and a lot of contact noise from the hammer on the string. Could be microphone positioning too, but I don’t want to listen to all that high “bell” music with that harsh sound.

      • Norma says:

        I thought there must be something actually wrong with that piano, not being particularly knowledgeable about different “makes,” but those top notes just sounded like “clicks,” like wood hitting wood. It was so odd. Rather like a guitarist who periodically clacks their nails across the wood of the instrument rather than the strings. Just a bizarre sound for me. Very disrupting.

    • Ned Keene says:

      Do you really hate baroque music so intensely? 😉

      No baroque music should be played on a joanna, not even an over-priced and tinny-sounding Italian joanna. I’m amazed Fazioli gave their blessing to a promo vid which reflects the timbre and quality of their instruments so very poorly. During the USSR era, Uzbek ‘businessmen’ were known for not removing the sleeve-labels from their Gucci and Armani suits -that everyone would know how,err, ‘cool’ they were. It seems Uzbek pianists continue this tradition.

    • Kevin Piccini says:

      That’s interesting; I really liked the timbre and resonance in the lower register. It had a lot of depth but wasn’t overwhelming. I guess how it was recorded would be a factor, but I with so many other distractions we will have to settle with what we are presented with.

  • stefan verbeek says:


  • Paul Brownsey says:

    It is good of her not quite to reveal her knickers.

  • anon says:

    I was expecting a Chopin teasing performance.

    Get it? it’s a pun:

    I was expecting a “show panties” in performance.


  • Butch says:

    Using sexuality to sell products…….gee thats a first.

  • Caravaggio says:

    No doubt Kim Kardashian, Yuja Wang and Anna Netrebko are in consultation with their respective agents for new strategies. No need to add as a matter of course that this is vulgar, garish and gawdy in a Trump-Russian oligarch, I am above the law way.

    • Robert Groen says:

      What law would that be, Caravaggio?

    • Ned Keene says:

      She’s not Russian -Russians have more class than her. She is from Uzbekistan, although now holds American citizenship.

      • Fan says:

        There are Russians living in Uzbekistan and vice versa. As for Russians always have class, you really shall join Reddit r/ANormalDayInRussia/ to have your daily dose of Russian class.

  • Steven van Staden says:

    The Fazioli sounded terrible – surely an acoustical/recording quirk rather than a castanet in the treble. Apart from the Aston and lovely hall, this was real puke, this was.

    • Ned Keene says:

      The Fazioli was only there as a fashion accessory, simply as a vulgar symbol of excess wealth. I’m surprised they even took the price tag off before filming. Like the rest of the components of this dire dreck, it is credited in the closing credits. Even the venue and the car (!) are credited – although Liszt isn’t.

    • John Rook says:

      The sound of the piano is the only thing that really shocked me in this video, I’m astonished Fazioli sanctioned its release. The rest was very predictable, tacky, gaudy but she can play, it has to be said.

  • Ross Amico says:

    LOL! Awesome! The only thing that would have made it better would have been a car bomb.

  • Burton says:

    One must admit the technical accuracy is extraordinary. I wonder if she also performs the Busoni and Hamelin arrangements. And is her companion a pianist as well? His car looks very expensive. So many unanswered questions.

  • Mock Mahler says:

    I certainly hope that’s not what a Fazioli piano actually sounds like. . . .

    • John Rook says:

      I’ve played Faziolis and couldn’t believe what I heard, here.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      I have head Faziolis played many times, both in classical and jazz settings.
      The sound in the video is NOT what they sound like.
      The Fazioli is an excellent piano, although I myself am partial to the sound of Steinway Bs (the D simply does not sound as good), Bechsteins and Bluthners.
      For modern pianos, that is. I heard some Satie played on a straight-strung old Erard, and it was simply marvelous.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Merely one of those occasions of prostitution of classical music…. and it is not without significance that the hall is completely empty, as empty as the heads of the protagonists. At 2:56 I heard some wrong fingering but that is typical of the entire video. Also, the playing is much too heavy, one suspects the ‘classy’ car won’t survive her driving style.

    • Robert Groen says:

      Ooh! Some wrong fingering? Heavens above! w
      Whatever next? With all respect, John, I’d rather listen to Lola playing Liszt than to your derivative stuff.

  • Patrick says:

    Nice Aston Martin.

  • A. Reader says:

    Probably dubbed.

  • Olev says:

    She plays it cleaner than me, and that’s all I will say.

    On another note – does the high register of that Fazioli sound horrible to anyone else? Can anyone give input if they are they all like that?

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Very funny.

  • Art says:

    Wow, beautiful………………………………………………………car.

  • Kurwenal says:

    The most remarkable thing here was the fact there was a free parking spot immediately outside the hall.

  • Karl says:

    Ludicrous. Whatever talent she might have will be overshadowed by this absurd marketing. I found her playing sterile. Another low point in the history of art music.

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    It seems this is what is needed nowadays. The ways of pop have made it to classical music. Very sad indeed.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    And after watching excerpts of the the above clip, listen to the entire clip below – without necessarily watching.

  • Robert Groen says:

    A pretty girl, a Campanella played as I never could in a month of Sundays….if this is what it takes to bring Liszt and others to a contemporary audience, so be it. We live in strange times. But then, we always did.

  • Tommy says:

    We are all part of it. Watch until the end… and LA’s mission is accomplished. And only men will buy the thing. And isn’t the hit-rate quite high among older grey-haired “I know best” classical music fanatics…? LA laughs happily at all those who are “at it” again. All the way to the bank and home!

    Well – I find it amusing too… despite the knowledge that some of my money most likely slips through my fingers (thanks to this sites existence and me being here, not necessarily due to NL actions) into the pocket of LA.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Is this raunch culture not a direct tease? Will these women soon be screaming #metoo? I think we deserve to be told.

  • M2N2K says:

    If this make someone “never feel the same about music again”, that person did not have any strong feelings about music to begin with.

  • Paul Carlile says:

    ….shurely shome mishtake, sir, that’s an Astan-(ova)-Martin. Lol..a Ass-turn-over scores another hit. But the recorded sound is….Lol…a ghastly tone overall.

  • Nick says:

    She looks and sounds much better than Yuja Wang!

  • Darn! She beat me to it! In my next life…

  • Cyril says:

    Nope, I feel the same about music as I did before.

    This performer and her marketing are as ghastly as always. I was almost expecting a vibrator or some masturbation to make an appearance.

  • almaviva says:

    Dreadful!… Speechless…

  • Zsolt Bognár says:

    The video was amusing of course, but it also reminded me vaguely of the classic DirecTV commercial “opulence… I has it.” https://youtu.be/CjWYbcbpiWA

  • anonymous says:

    La campanella? Has all the charms of Quasimodo tolling the bells of Notre Dame.

  • Steve says:

    could be a great beginning of a porn movie instead of the usual fireman/ plumber/ gardener combo.

  • Michael says:

    Nobody feels sorry for the man? Don’t worry, he was happy that he didn’t need to return the car to the rental agency.

  • c# polonaise says:

    Does anyone remember Rudolf Firkusny in a basketball commercial for Nike?


  • Norm Santos says:

    i used to think aston martin cars were classy…

  • She plays well enough but the high notes on the Fazioli piano sound like someone hitting two dried Popsicle sticks together.

  • Nigel Goldberg says:

    The times we live in

  • John Ponticello says:

    Piano porn.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Wonder if she would rehearse Music of the Nightwith me?

  • Monchéri says:

    Don’t be too uptight, some people might like it and listen to more…..We have Cziffra, and Martha and so many more, so this cannot hurt. Just like what “Mon chéri” is to Pierre Hermé chocolate……..kitsch of this magnitude is actually fun…..

  • Jimbabwe says:

    I kept waiting for Arya to come out of nowhere and stab her with a Valyrian steel blade and put us out of our misery – but no. I had to suffer through a slow motion Aston Martin.

  • Miche says:

    She is a cheap, budget version of Wang and Buniatishvili.