Ivan Bessonov – Ivan Bessonov Plays Chopin

ivanHave you ever thought about what’s implied about a person when they have a massive fucking head? First there’s just the phrase “big-headedness” which means (yes, I know you already know this) that you think your shit don’t stank. But why is this a thing? If someone has thick elbow skin, I don’t think they’re wise. The two things often inferred by having a giant fucking dome are intellect and childishness. And, often: smarts + youth = douche bag. Think about these two representations: Casper, Charlie Brown, and Richie Rich all are cartoon portraits of youth. They all have colossal craniums. Brainwave, The Watcher, and the Kree Supreme Intelligence are all insanely smart comic book villains with megalithic sized skulls. When you combine young and smart, you get characters like Stewie Griffin. That baby’s got a titanic fucking noggin. He’s eighty percent head. He’s a complete douche bag. You can go ahead and think that all of this is just silly play, that I’m just spitting out random shit for your amusement, but this old visual device comes from somewhere. There’s truth in it. For this, you don’t have to look any further than Ivan Bessonov.

It’s strange to see Ivan sit on a piano bench in front of a great hall packed to the tits with people. His hair looked like a blow-dried mop and echoes each of his body’s movements. I think the motherfucker even teases out his shit for that extra girth. His long lanky body fits like a skeleton in a suit. His cheeks are plump and full of life. He has that bobble-head doll look that only comes with being young. Part of you feels like he might tip over at any point. He’s a caricature of prodigy: long fingers, slender body, and a giant fucking head. The fucker was born in 2002. Legally, he can’t even access most of the internet. But he’s already won prizes at the International Chopin Piano Competition for Young Pianists back in 2015 (13-fucking-years old, ladies and gentlemen), The International Anton Rubinstein Competition in 2016, the St. Petersburg City Government Young Talents Competition in 2016, the International Grand Piano Competition also in 2016, the International Astana Piano Passion Competition in 2017, and Young Talents of Russia Competition in 2017. Then there was Eurovision in 2018, where this young fuck poured his fucking guts out to the world and everyone’s jaws dropped to the floor with a simultaneous clank. This kid can fucking play.

So, this recording is of Russia’s wonder-kid mastermind virtuoso playing out pieces designed by Chopin to be so difficult that few in the world can master them. The pieces are full of running notes, chromatic scales, and trills out the asshole. They’re also unbelievably emotional. You think Game of Thrones has some dynamic emotions? Try Chopin on for size. It’s like listening to a week’s worth of emotions from a 15-year-old girl congested down into four fucking minutes. There’s a reason Chopin’s Etudes are chosen as some of the most difficult pieces of all fucking time. Playing double third trills with your right hand while taking bungee-jumping leaps with your left at the speed of are-you-fucking-serious? and executing this shit with the clarity and emotion melange it fucking demands is one of the hardest feats a human can do. Ivan does this all at the age of 17. It seems impossible. Then again, he does have a pretty big head.


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