Daniel Lebhardt in Perivale

Daniel Lebhardt at St Mary’s Perivale
Daniel Lebhardt.at St Mary`s Perivale for Hugh Mathers remarkable series of young virtuosi.
Wonderful to be back to this beautiful church seen from afar in the winter sunshine today.
The opening concert a bit later than usual due to urgent repairs on the delicate roof.
Young hungarian born pianist already at only 23 graduated with honours from the Royal Academy in London where he won the prestigious Sterndale Benett Prize receiving also recognition from YCAT UK and America giving him numerous concert experiences to consolidate his career in music.
Studying from an early age at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest I was very happy to be able to hear this distinguished young musician in Hugh Mather`s extraordinary series.
In three pieces from Brahms op 118 he showed the best of himself with a solid,mature but very sensitive musicianship.
Some beautiful sounds and a sense of line that never led to excess.
A heartfelt interpretation that never dissolved into sentimentality but always the head held nobly on high.
A sense of pulse and rhythmic impulse that led to a very moving interpretation of these deceptively difficult last utterings of Brahms
.
Persuaded by our genial host to present the programme the words used to express what he felt in Brahms were so clearly mirrored in his performances at the keyboard.
Explaining why he preferred the orginal version of Rachmaninovs epic second sonata he proceeded to give a virtuoso performance full of colour and subtle nuances but that somehow did not have the same impact as the famous much truncated”Horowitz” version.
I must say while I appreciate the reason for searching out and presenting the original version which is intellectually admirable but Horowitz was an animal who had a great sense of theatre combined with great musicianship that he is not always credited with.Was it not Rachmaninov ,his best friend ,who said Vovka plays me well!
Daniel gave a very fine full blooded virtuoso performance not missing in subtlety and heartrending romanticism.I just feel that for the actual content it would have benefitted from some cautious cutting and re-editing !
Starting his programme with Beethoven’s “Hunt” Sonata op 31 n.3 I felt as though he had not quite got to grips with the instrument in his quest to find delicacy and almost pastoral cantabile he somehow missed that rhythmic energy and clockwork precision that is so part of Beethoven in this early to middle period.Jaining Kong a few weeks ago in the same master series had shown us exactly how it could be done with masterly,mesmerising accounts of Beethoven Sonatas.
Next Tuesday another great pianist Marcos Madrigal with music of Chopin,Prokofiev and Lecuona a preview of which can be heard on Radio 3 “In Tune” on Thursday as he presents his phenomenal new CD of his compatriot Lecuona .
Marcos is absolutely unique in this music and it was the great conductor Claudio Abbado who recognised his talent and was responsible for helping him leave Cuba to complete his musical studies.

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