Artist Diploma at the Guildhall

Some really exceptional piano playing this morning from Mihai Ritivoiu andEvgeny Genchev.
Both with the Keyboard Charitable Trust and both presenting their Artists Diploma Graduation Recital at Milton Court today.
I had already heard great things about Mihai from a KCT concert in Frankfurt recently and was actually present in the USA when Evgeny greatly impressed the public in New York and Philadelphia on a KCT tour.
It was left to Mihai to start at 10 am with a Prelude and Fugue not by Bach but unusually these days by Mendelssohn.Not since Serkin have we seen Mendelssohn in the first part of a recital.
Very rare even to hear this one in Fminor op 35 .
The prelude showed off all the poetry and beautiful sound world of Mihais extremely assured playing it was a pity that the Fugue and the Variations serieuses that followed suffered a bit from this early morning start where a more leisurly would have give more time for the music to unfold naturally .Some very fast tempo played with complete clarity and assurance …..here indeed was a young virtuoso of the first order enjoying every minute of his prowess gained in the class of the magnificent teacher that is the renowned Joan Havill .
And so it was having shown us the virtuoso now it was the time of the poet.
And so it was with the Schumann Fantasie an outpouring of love for Clara ,dedicated to Franz Liszt.
So a formidable challenge and a work that needs a real musician to be able to share its inner secrets.
A beautiful performance unfolded with all the passion but also innermost feelings all held together in a very precise framework.
No mean feat for the greatest of pianists but here was totally understood and transmitted with some really beautiful sounds on the magnificent Steinway that allowed all the varied emotions that Schumann wanted to include.
Fine rhythmic second movement led to the yearning lament for Schumann’s beloved Clara .The famous skips in in the coda of the second movement well judged indeed.
If the ending of the last movement could have been less accentuated it would have been an even more beautiful ending that Schumann indicates in crescendo with accents but surely in the context of a sumptuous string chamber orchestra.
Following on with a magical but also very precise performance of Debussy Images book 1 he ended the eighty minute recital with De Falla Fantasia Baetica .Written for the virtuoso that was Rubinstein here Mihai was in his element showing all the colours , virtuosity but also eloquence and elegance that its dedicatee was renowned for even in 1919 .
Evgeny Genchev presenting a very assured performance of the Overture in the French style BWV 831 .Particularly suited to this magnificent opening work were his taught rhythmic control but also a non legato touch , reminiscent of Glenn Gould ,that totally suited this work.
Following with a poetic performance of Beethoven’s op110.
A performance in which we could admire not only the intelligence of this problematic work but also his superb control of balance that allowed the melodic line to sing in one of Beethoven’s last trilogy that is the most lyrical and serene of all his last utterings for piano.
The return of the fugue was ushered in an almost inaudible whisper that allowed the tumultuous final passionate outpouring to be even more impressive.
Liszt’s transcription of Wagners Liebestod found the ideal interpreter here for all the subtle colours but above all the clarity and projection that showed a rare capacity to listen and adjust immediately to the piano,hall and us the audience.
So it was the extreme delicacy of the the first of the two Poemes op 32 by Scriabin that particularly impressed although the virtuosity and passion in the second Poeme and the Fantasie in B minor op 28 that followed were very impressive indeed.
So it was with great expectation that we awaited the Dante Sonata of Liszt .All the virtuosity,temperament and poetry beautifully realised but with a sense of overall line and direction of a real thinking musician.
Infact Artists Diploma is exactly the title that the lucky people present ,which included the renowned critic Bryce Morrison ,were able to confirm with these very impressive performances from the splendid stable of the Guildhall so ably presided over by Ronan o Hara with artists of the calibre of Martin Roscoe ,Joan Havill  and Peter Bithell at his side.

foto di Christopher Axworthy.
foto di Christopher Axworthy.
foto di Christopher Axworthy.
foto di Christopher Axworthy.
foto di Christopher Axworthy.

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