ARTUR HAFTMAN AT ST JAMES’S

21 year old polish pianist Artur Haftman ……….justly a standing ovation and foto shoot with encores long after the official concert was over.
Never has this Fazioli piano sounded so sumptuous .
All due of course to this young artists awareness of the roots in the bass.Just as his compatriot Chopin pointed out to his pupils .Also this young artists way of leaning expressively on the upbeat in a way that recalls another compatriot Artur Rubinstein.
Mozart`s almost operatic sonata K281 a shade too fast to allow each character to stand on his own ground.The impish last movement could have been relished even more than his remarkably assured performance would allow.
The unjustly neglected Szymanowski Theme and variations op 3 ,now like Medtner and now Schumann ,were given a masterly performance ~ never has this difficult piano been allowed to sing and seduce as today.
Of course the Polonaise Heroique slightly on the fast side but with some truly masterly strokes ,was in his blood .Maybe more aristocratic nobility will come with age as it did with Rubinstein. Schumann`s also much neglected Romance in F sharp major can rarely have been given a more beautiful performance.
A truly transcendental performance of Liszt`s Hungarian Rhapsody n.6 brought the concert to what we thought was the end.
Such was the ovation that an encore of the rarely heard old war horse Moszkowski`s Caprice Espagnol played with all the subtle pianism that we came to expect in the “Golden Age” of Rosenthal and Lhevine.
This unexpectedly led to an excerpt from the Funeral March sonata during a foto pose that from a public craving for more turned into a Chopin Waltz op 34 . We will be hearing a lot more from this young man who seems to relish and need the public just as his compatriot did. Another star from the RCM so magnificently directed by Vanessa Latarche……this time from the stable of Dmitri Alexeev…..one of my favourite pianists,winner of the Leeds when Uchida and Schiff were runners up.Often used to play for us in Rome thanks to the lovely Donatella Brizio,an old style agent that they do not make like that any more.Lucky students to have such a valuable mentor at their side.

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