Liszt comes to St Mary’s
The Liszt Society International Competition was held this year at the “other” St Mary’s.
It has found it’s home in the charming “redundant”chuch in Perivale that Hugh Mather has transformed into a mecca for young aspiring pianists.
The ever generous physician together with his team which includes his wife doctor Felicity and Roger Nellist have been giving an average of three concerts a week of recitals by the most talented young musicians in London and elsewhere.
A professional engagement is offered with video recording and more importantly a large discerning audience.
It was now the turn of the Liszt Society to be invited to move down the road from the other St Mary’s ,part of the West London University, to this Mecca.
This is what I wrote last year (last year’s winner Keishi Suzuki will give a solo recital at St Mary’sPerivale on Tuesday 27th November at 14h):
A day dedicated to Liszt and who better to host it that Leslie Howard the President who has recorded all the works of Liszt on 100 Cd’s.
Only one work is missing and was sold at auction and not available ….the search is on!
The Annual General Meeting at mid-day followed by an hour’s recital by Luca Monachino the young Italian pianist who was runner up in the 2017 Competition.
I think this extract from the Liszt Society web site explains fully the raison d’etre of the AGM.
“The Society’s activities have included piano recitals and masterclasses (especially by the late President of the Society Louis Kentner, and by Leslie Howard, the Society’s current President), members’ soirées, lectures, organ and song recitals, and chamber music. The Annual General Meeting, far from being just the gathering required by statute, has always been a very happy and musical encounter of friends with a shared and deeply-felt enthusiasm for Liszt.”
Co sponsored by the Keyboard Charitable Trust as is also the recital that Keishi gave in Vienna recently .
Today they were given a magnificent welcome by Hugh Mather and his fellow enthusiasts .
His wife providing refreshments that started with very welcoming hot soup and sausages after the AGM and followed with wine and tea during the two short intervals between the recital and the competition .
Luca had flown in especially from Messina with an interesting programme starting with the Sonata in G minor op 7. n.3 by Clementi taken from his vast and realtively unknown output of Sonatas.
Finishing of course with Liszt: the rarely heard “Marche heroique dans le genre hongrois” S231.
Four contestants gave forty minute recitals before the panel of judges :Leslie Howard,Melvyn Cooper and Mark Viner.
Four fine recitals from:
Corbin Beisner from the USA who had studied in Hungary and in fact gave a very assured performance of the Dante Sonata that won him first prize.
Phillip Leslie from Trinity Laban a student of Philip Fowke in an interesting programme that included Csardas obstinee S.225/2 and Aux cypres de la Villa d’Este- Threnodie 1 and was voted second prize
Pascal Pascaleff from Bulgaria studying in Birmingham with Pascal Nemirovski
A very fine technique able to produce the most liquid sounds from the piano gave a fine performance of the Dante Sonata and finished with Liszt’s amazing Nuages gris.
Wui Man Raymond Yiu an ex student of Joan Havill that was evident from his performances of La lugubre gondola and the Weinen,Klagen,Sorgen Zagen variations .S.180
His class shone through but with a rather patchy performance of the Liszt Variations.
A unanimous decision and an fascinating afternoon in the presence of Liszt .