Andreas Haefliger at the Wigmore Hall
On a balmy Summers evening after a visit to the new Temperate House in Kew and a guided tour of the newly housed Brentford Piano Museum.
What better way to finish the day than the “Hammerklavier” played by the distinguished German/Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger.
Dearly missed today both Frank Holland and Sidney Harrison the founders of the original museum that was housed for many years in the leaky,cold church just down the road.
Frank lived in the presbytery – the pianos were his life. Now the church is transformed into luxury flats at astronomical prices……….
Not sure Frank would approve as he refused to have his “babies” housed under the more secure roof of the V&A as suggested by Sidney Harrison.
He did not want to be separated from them for a second.
This remarkable collection is now securely housed in a brand new building complete with concert hall where the mighty Wurlitzer can be seen emerging from the depths with all its lights flashing as it would have done in numerous cinemas throughout the world.
On such a wonderfully warm evening it was a pleasure to prolong the day with music of Mozart and Beethoven in the warm surroundings of the Wigmore Hall.
Andreas Haefliger,son of the renowned swiss tenor Ernst Haefliger was Julliard trained and since his Wigmore Hall debut in 1993 has played throughout the world .
His renowned” Perspectives” CD series based around Beethoven is in its 7th volume.
Just a glance at the programme and one could see that we were in the presence of a real thinking musician.
Beethoven’s late sonatas op 101 and 106 introduced by Mozart Fantasia in C minor and his Adagio in B minor.
It was immediately apparent from the opening Mozart Fantasie and the Adagio in B minor that opened the second half the attention to detail and balance and a very luminous legato somewhat reminiscent of Wilhelm Kempf.
This was most apparent in the opening of the Beethoven Sonata op 101 beautifully shaped and dissolving into nothing.
The second movement march very securely played as was the Fugue from the Hammerklavier but in both cases it seemed like another pianist and seemed to exit from the fantasie world that had been created.
Almost like a Floristan and Eusebius whereas the extreme contrasts in Beethoven are one and the same person.
The Adagio of the Sonata op101 as with that of op106 extremely beautifully played with great feeling but always with a view of the great architectural line .
The opening of the Hammerklavier played with great control and clarity as with the finale of op 101 the contrasts in this case admirably held within Beethoven’s own framework.
The mighty Fugue from the Hammerklavier was a true tour de force and although feeling slightly divorced from the rest of the Sonata brought this recital to a magnificent conclusion.
Of course no encore was possible as the very appreciative Wigmore audience were fully aware.