Emoting Pianist Moments: some self-conscious and un-selfconscious pianists
Most musicians are not 100% comfortable listening to themselves. I belong to not such a small group of musicians who cringe, flinch and twirl listening to themselves. As if listening to myself isn't bad enough, I am often forced to (or force myself to) monitor myself on video, which, admittedly, is highly beneficial for my playing when I do get through it. I see for myself what gestures and facial expressions help/enhance the musical expression I am trying to create through sound, and what divert attention from the aural experience. For example, I look up in the middle of a beautiful theme from Chopin, as though I am looking for an inspiration from the ceiling. 9 out of 10 times, I am doing it A: out of habit, or B: I am just truly uncomfortable having to deal with that particular phrase at that moment. (Some of the seemingly uncomplicated phrases and passages are the most difficult to play)
As it is natural to listen a little bit with eyes in a concert setting, some instrumentalists spice up their performance with intentionally flamboyant gestures and exggerated facial expressions to help characterize the music they are playing. For others who are completely unabsorbed in the music they are trying to communicate to the audience, extreme facial expressions and artistic physical movements come completely unselfconsciously. I believe both cases are present in these videos, providing us with excellent extramusical entertainment.
Emoting Pianist Moments
More Emoting Pianist Moment
P.S. My vote goes to Fazil Say's electric shock in the third movement of Appasionata (in "Emoting Pianist Moments").