Wonderful to meet Barbara Nissman at last for her centenary celebration concert of Ginastera at Kings Place in London. Also billed as Prokofiev`s 125th,Bartok`s 135th and Liszt`s 205.
This to show the direct link between the composers.Something she expertly spoke about as she began with Liszt`s Dance at the village inn .Followed by Bartok`s percussive Allegro Barbaro before arriving at Prokofiev and Ginastera .
Originally the idea to write a concerto for piano and percussion after her much admired performance of his first concerto lead to a very moving portrayal of her friend Ginastera who wrote his 3rd Sonata for her in its place from his hospital bed in 1982.
Infact this was his last work dedicated to Barbara Nissman and bears the inscription “Thanks be to God”.
Although living in Switzerland he always thought of himself as a man of South America.
Ending her remarkable recital with Ginastera’s masterpiece his first sonata written thirty years earlier.
Such energy and transcendental piano playing left us all breathless,but certainly not Barbara who at the end greeted all her numerous illustrious friends and admirers and one felt she could have easily started all over again. Over the years I feel she has become a close friend ,in a correspondence that has lasted over twenty years, from the day her dear friends Rosalyn Tureck and teacher Gyorgy Sandor spoke about her to me on their regular annual visits to Rome.
We had never actually met in person but her numerous CDs would happily arrive regularly in my office at the Teatro Ghione and we even shared our grief over loosing our beloved spouses.
So it was a very poignant meeting at her astonishing performance today in London.
Oh for the next twenty years of happy correspondence together.