The second time this month that I hear Alexandre Tharaud and what a joy it turns out to be to admire this aristocrat of the piano. As in St Johns in London ,here in Rome too the scores firmly in view on the piano stand . Whereas in London it was for the Goldberg Variations,here in Rome a mixed programme of Ravel,Grieg and Beethoven op 57. I am totally against solo pianists using the score(look at the difference it made to Curzon and most notably Richter)but if this is the only way we can have this remarkable artist,then so be it. I think it would add another dimention without the score , his playing is so reminiscent of my renowned Mentor Guido Agosti.The whole musical world flocked to his studio in Siena to hear the most refined,intelligent musicianly playing with such perfect and subtle balance between the hands that the colours combined with power ,energy and good taste made one relisten to the most hacknied pieces as if one were listening anew . And so it was with Tharauds” Appassionata”. A revelation as though one were listening to it for the first time.The slow movement in places very original with his simple,fresh musicianship to the fore. If the Ravel Sonatine and Miroirs missed the sumptuousness we are used to, it was more than compensated for by the musical precision and clarity of sound,most probably as Ravel intended it. The scarlatti sonata with the repeated notes ,so often heard as a study and here played as an encore was played at times almost as a frenzied dance.
To say that the other encore,Bach/Siloti ,was sublime with his complete command of colour,dynamic gradations ,combined with the sheer beauty of sound,would indeed be an understatement,for it was simply divine. We all used to flock to Agosti ,I suggest we all flock to this young man who reminds us ,in such a simple way,of values that are so often forgotten these days And now Beatrice Rana and Pappano ‘s new cd on the long drive home.Has the opening theme of that old war horse of Tchaikowsky ever sung out with such an expressive voice ……..already in the charts at 21 and rising rapidly to number one I am sure .Beatrice Rana perfezionata con Benedetto Lupo all.Accademia di S.Cecilia.All in the family so to speak. “Hausmusik” indeed ,and all thanks to Bruno Cagli who believed in and realised his dream.
What a fabulous place this is and now I have Menahem Pressler New Year DVD to enjoy infront of the log fire this evening .Playing with the score Presslers voice sings out as no other can………