Iyad Sughayer at St Martin in the Fields for the Embassy and Cultural Institute Series .
Representing the Embassy of Jordan Iyad I.Sughayer at only 24 is regarded as one of the Middle East`s most promising young artists.
Mozart 12 Variations on “Ah,vous dirai je Maman”K.265 and the six pieces that make up Liszt Annees de Pelerinage : Premiere annee:Suisse.
Some remarkable virtuosity aided and abetted by Liszt but it was the more concealed ,refined virtuosity in Mozart`s “Baba black sheep ” variations that was even more astonishing.
Beautiful sound from this Steinway Grand that now resides where once Sir Thomas Beecham’s noble old instrument lay.
Such a perfectly pure simple statement of the well known children’s melody ~ so much for Schnabels famous remark about being too easy for children and too difficult for adults.
The clarity and purity of sound was astonishingly maintained in the set of variations that follows.
Some amazingly intricate left hand figurations played with an easy charm and sense of style that one can understand what Schnabel might have been insinuating in lesser hands.
Here there was an innocent virtuosity and a very sparing use of pedal that allowed these intricate figurations to weave their magical web around this little nursery melody with such grace and ease.
Some beautiful shaping and sense of colour in the slower variation with an ornamentation in such impeccable style that one was hardly aware of the intelligent musicianship of this young pianist.
After his success a few weeks ago with the multi award winning Manchester Camerata in that noble cities`reborn cathedral it was good to be able to hear a solo recital in an equally noble edifice in the centre of London.
No hidden virtuosity in Liszt and Iyad certainly showed us that he was more than ready for the fray.
Orage showed off his transcendental octaves in a great display of the Romantic passion of a young Liszt in Switzerland with his great love.
Even in the strenuous passages the musical line was always foremost and this most underestimated of pieces was restored to the place where it really belongs.
It takes a real musician to play Liszt well.
It is all too easy to hide behind the rhetoric and seemingly bombastic technical demands.
It was Guido Agosti,whose mentor was Busoni, who would treat the scores of Liszt with the same respect as with Beethoven or Mozart.
A tradition passed down through pianists such as Claudio Arrau, Alfred Brendel and Leslie Howard who hardly surprising is Iyad`s actual mentor.
Iyad having studied from the age of fourteen at Chethams under that amazing power house that is Murray McLachlan and now perfecting his studies at Trinity Laban under Martino Tirimo and Peter Tuite is maturing into an artist to be reckoned with.
Opening the Liszt with the bold dramatic statement that is in the Chapelle de Guillaume Tell followed by the three most poetic pieces almost Mozartian in their simplicity.
The gentle rippling of the water in the left hand figuration of Au lac de Wallenstadt. The beauty of the sound and sense of balance could have been even more telling with a more constant less disturbed ripple of these tranquil waters.
The well known Au bord d`une source played with all the charm and grace with some delicate jeu perle filligree that could have benefited from a little more time to wend its magic way to perfection as this little jewel can do.
Pastorale whose innocent almost native charm made up the middle section of this totally satisfying whole that makes up Liszt`s magical description of the joys of youth in Switzerland
All leading to the final great statement that is the great poem of the Vallee d`Obermann.
Prefaced by a poem with the great question of Renaissance man:
Who am I,what am I ,where am I going.
A great Romantic poem with a complete range of emotions.
From the most intimate to the most flamboyantly rhetorical.
The magical middle section leading to a most gloriously romantic outpouring of a young virtuoso on the crest of a wave.
With the same physical virtuosity and passion that was on show today and brought this capacity audience spontaniously to their feet at the end of the strenuous emotions that this young man had so simply shared with them.