Transportive. The classical music that is caught in live performance makes A Surprise in Texas essential viewing for anyone searching for great piano playing. The young musicians who travel from around the world to Fort Worth every four years for the Cliburn Competition are incredibly talented. To watch their fingers dance across the keyboard is a marvel to behold.
Beyond the considerable attraction of hearing beautiful music performed by gifted young people, however, the film may leave you wanting. Directed by Peter Rosen, the documentary, which opened tonight at the Angelika Dallas and Angelika Plano (it’s also opening in limited engagements in Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio), assumes a basic knowledge of the importance of the Cliburn Competition, and prefers to spend time listening to the music rather than delving very deeply into the lives of the competitors.