Happy Birthday Mr Goethe with thanks to Mr Schumann The Rothstein Schubertiade
An unforgettable musical evening for Goethe’s birthday (28th August 1749)…………
A Pocket Winter Journey with Georg Klimbacher and Graham Johnson ………Goethe settings by Franz Schubert with Anna Huntley and Georg Klimbacher all expertly guided by Graham Johnson…………..Of course the singing under Graham’s guide was sublime
Anna Huntley and Georg Klimbacher in one of the only two duos written by Schubert offered as an encore after some really superb singing.
The magnificent oboe Juliana Koch from the LSO with Linn Rothstein playing together so beautifully the Three Romances op 94 by Schumann who sneaked in too to say Happy Birthday .
The proposed Arpeggione cried off in the morning so hats off to Julia for showing us how beautiful the oboe can sound in a real artists hands….could it have been her bare feet
that allowed her to feel the vibrations that I am sure Schubert would have envied Linn having prepared an equally beautiful supper for her lucky guests. Guest of honour ,or course, was Anita Lasker Wallfisch at 93 one of the last survivors of Auschwitz and a renowned cellist as is her son Raphael.
At 93 she drove herself home doing a three point turn obviously uplifted by Goethe’s magnificent birthday party
Nice to see the winner of the 2015 Chopin Competition at the Sunday morning Prom with the European Union Youth Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda .
A few yards away in the afternoon the Chopin Society UK were honoured to present at the Polish Hearth Club an illustrated talk by that world authority on all things to do with the piano Bryce Morrison .
”In Search of Chopin :a singular genius” was the title of the talk that could not have described better this summer Sunday in London.
A very interesting and amusing talk by Bryce Morrison in which he spoke about the various approaches through time to the performance of Chopin.
Starting with an early Polonaise played by Garrick Ohlsson winner of the Chopin competition in 1970 at 22 just one year older than Seong- Jin who won it in 2015.
Chopin was criticised for not having written operas, symphonies or quartets.
But he did!
Exclaimed Bryce but all on the piano !
A fascinating line up of performances that included Horowitz,Cortot,Cherkassky,Ousset ,Argerich,Katsaris,Tiempo ,Bolet and of course Rubinstein.
Finishing with the Polonaise op 53 from the historic return to Moscow in 1964 of Artur Rubinstein.
Could it have been
a coincidence that this very Polonaise had been offered to a very insistent public after a magical account of Chopin’s 2nd Piano Concerto at the concert earlier in the day.
Seong-Jin Cho was making his debut at the Albert Hall having won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2015.
The youngest pianist to have won the Hamamatsu competition at the age of 15 and at the age of 17 taking third prize at the Tchaikowsky Competition in Moscow.
From the remarkable school in South Korea that is producing so many extraordinary pianists known not only for their technical prowess but above all for their deep musical understanding.
Seong – Jin Cho in 2012 at the age of 18 went on to study in Paris with Michel Beroff where he graduated from the Paris Conservatoire in 2015.
Now playing worldwide he also plays regularly with the renowned violinist Kyung- Wha Chung .
A performance in which the piano was allowed to sing with an unforced voice that allowed the music to unfold so naturally .
A rubato of great elegance finding great support from his attention to the left hand detail.
The last movement seemed to be and extention of the slow movement in the way it seemed to float in so naturally.
Taking all the time needed to allow Chopin’s magical figurations to speak .
Time seemed to stand still which was quite a feat in a hall of 6000 people.
It was Fou Ts’ong who said to me that it is easier to be more intimate in a big hall rather than a small one.
An encore of a very passionate and firey performance of the Polonaise Heroique just missing that nobility and control that was so much part of Rubinstein’s performances in this very hall.
A concert by the European Union Youth Orchestra founded by Joy and Lionel Bryer many years ago has been a Cultural Ambassador for the European union for over 40 years.
The founding music director was Claudio Abbado and it has since been conducted by the most eminent conductors of the day including Bernstein,Haitink,Karajan,Ashkenazy amongst many others .
Tonight it was Gianandrea Noseda who gave a brilliant account of the UK preniere of a work by Agata Zubel :Fireworks that showed off all the virtuosity of in particular the percussion section of this very fine orchestra.
The sumptuous beauty of the strings was to be revealed in
a red hot performance of Tchaikowsky’s Fifth Symphony tightly held together with a great sense of line and direction together with great sentiment and feeling .
Noseda sharing all his great musicianship and experience with these young players .
An encore of the Radesky March brought the official concert to a rousing end.
But for all those leaving the hall the orchestra suddenly came alive with some jazz instigated by the brass section and taken up by the rest of the orchestra dancing around the stage whilst they were playing .
Obviously letting their hair down after a long tournee together and just having fun that they were only to pleased to share with this enormous proms audience gathered together on a Sunday morning .