Louis Schwizgebel at the Wigmore Hall

What a wise and knowledgeable person Dame Fanny Waterman is especially when it comes to spotting musicians with that very rare insightful classical style .
And so it was on this Sunday Bank Holiday that I was more than grateful to race from the Chopin Society to the Wigmore Hall to hear the remarkable, refined artistry and intelligence of Louis Schwizgebel the pianist that had won second prize at Leeds to the first prize awarded in 2012 to the young very individual Italian virtuoso Federico Colli.
Dame Fanny was right indeed because here is an artist of the Curzon/Perahia school.
Not only giving us insightful performances of the classics but also restoring the works of Liszt to their rightful place with the same intelligence and artistry …very much the school of my old mentor Guido Agosti, disciple of Busoni
And so it was that the first encore in this extraordinary recital was one of the most played waltzes by Chopin op 64 n.2 but played as rarely we have heard it before .The tantalising sounds from his remarkable team of ten individual fingers and the subtle tone colours found all within a certain strict framework was to be marvelled at.
Followed unexpectedly by La Campanella played with all the tone colours and subtle virtuosity that we associate with a past age .
The little 3rd of Schubert’s moments musicaux was reminiscent of the much missed artistry of Clifford Curzon .
Beginning with Haydn’s C major sonata HXV1.50 it has got me hurrying to consult the score to find all the marvels that this young man revealed to us .
From the beautifully shaped line to the magical music box sounds in the first movement Ornaments played in the strict classical style but could the final two chords of the slow movement on the beat have sounded so beautifully right .
Four of Schubert’s Lieder remanaged by Liszt were shown for the little masterpieces that they really are .
From the beautiful echo effect in Standchen to the flow of the stream in Auf dem Wasser zu singen.
The sheer simplicity of Du bist die Ruh and finishing with Das Erlkonig that was every bit as terrifying as Fischer Dieskau’s famous interpretation with Gerald Moore.
A single work after the interval of Schubert’s big A minor Sonata .
From the opening utterance it was clear that we were in for an extraordinary journey from the seachingly sensitive and inquisitive mind of this remarkable artist .
The nobility of the first movement was matched by the extreme delicacy of the slow movement .The whole sonata held within a strict framework but with such imagination that one of the most difficult of Schubert’s Sonatas to interpret was made to sound so inevitably right .
Reminded tonight of Krystian Zimermann’s extraordinary performance of the last two of Schubert’s Sonatas in the Festival Hall last month.
It is refreshing to know that Louis Schwitzgebel is heir to this very rare breed of master musicians that are also masters of their instrument
How much we have to be grateful to Dame Fanny for,for never compromising the real musical values for pure virtuosity and bringing these likes of Perahia,Lupu and now Schwizgebel to the public’s attention.
Hats off indeed to this remarkable lady now in her 95th year.

foto di Christopher Axworthy.
foto di Christopher Axworthy.

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