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If I were forced to pick one desert-island piece of piano music - perhaps *any* piece of music - the Piano Concerto #2 in B-Flat Major, Opus 83, by Johannes Brahms, would be under serious consideration - I could spend the rest of my life studying just this one piece, and still not plumb its immense depths. It is, simply put, one of the greatest pieces of music ever written - one of the greatest works of art produced in the history of mankind. B2, as I affectionately call it, is a piece of such profundity that I cannot adequately convey it using the clumsy written word; instead, I will direct you to one particularly great recording. At around 50 minutes in length, it is no small feat to get through, but each of the four movements is its own masterpiece, and listening to parts of it is better than never having heard it at all. I cannot imagine what could have possessed a human being to think of something this epic in scope - the profound encapsulation of musical heroism, written down with pen and paper. It is the equivalent of any Beethoven Symphony or Sonata, or of any painting by da Vinci, or of any play by Shakespeare. We can start right here with my choice for the greatest pianist who ever lived: Sviatislav Richter. It's in five parts on YouTube, so you'll need to listen to all five to hear the entire piece. You can spend as much time listening to this piece as you would reading War and Peace, and your time will be equally well-spent here: 1st Movement - Allegro non Troppo (This is a very long movement, and it was apparently necessary to split it into two YouTube entries.) 2nd Movement - Allegro Appassionato (Just when you think music can't get any more profound than the 1st movement, along comes the second.) 3rd Movement - Andante (This long, expansive, absolutely beautiful movement is almost desperately needed after the 1st 2 movements, which leave the listener completely spent.) 4th Movement - Allegro Grazioso (The ten-second passage from 1:56 - 2:06 is unspeakably difficult, but notice also the call-and-response motif from 1:05 - 1:30 - it is imperative to play this lightly.)
Here is the official website for the 2015 U.S. Open, running Aug 31 - Sep 13, 2015 Scores & Stats - Draws - Schedule - Players - Video & Photos - News - Event Guide - Social - Shop - Tickets Do yourselves a favor: Even if you haven't traditionally been a huge tennis fan, try and get into the U.S. Open this year - it's a great tournament, and the players right now are as good as they will be for a long time into the future - the top players are getting older, and the chances you have to see them are growing smaller and smaller.These are halcyon times for tennis, and it's a good time to be getting into it as a spectator - imagine if you could tell your grandchildren that you watched Rod Laver beat Ken Rosewall. If anyone has any questions at all, no matter how rudimentary, either post them here, or send me a Private Message. I'll be happy to help you out in any way I can, and there's no such thing as a "stupid" question, I promise you - you can't possibly expect to know things if you've never been told them before.