Wonderful to see Canan Maxton giving a chance to young composers to have their works heard in her series for Talent Unlimited Music Charity at St James’s Piccadilly in the centre of London.
Fresh on the heels of her Christmas Showcase recital she is here in the same week to give a chance to another very talented pianist composer Thibault Charrin.
Infact the versatility of her artists was demostrated as it was Thibault who produced together with Petar Dimov the video/audio recording that is so important for promotion of the showcase concert.
Today it was left to Petar Dimov to be alone in the organ
loft to record his friend and colleague.
Thibault Charrin was born in France and received his early education at the Conservatoire of Saint Germain-en-Laye and with Tristan Pfaff in Paris.
Winning a scholarship to the Guildhall he came to London at 18 to complete his piano studies with Caroline Palmer and Philip Jenkins.
But he is a composer at heart as we could hear today.
The public in Cambridge in March were made aware of his versatility when he performed the Poulenc Two Piano Concerto and then went on to play his own two piano transcription of the Golliwogs Cake Walk to celebrate the centenary anniversary of Debussy.
Weeks of discussions and trying out different possibilities preceded the definitive performance that we heard today at St James’s.
The violinist for whom it was written was called up for Turkish military service and it was the very fine violinist Enyuan Khong who stood in at very short notice.
A three movement sonata with the same very tranquil atmosphere that Ravel created at the start of his sonata.
Some very original things in Thibault’s sonata but always maintaining that very french aristocratic sound .The Finale of the Anime- tres vif in which Enyuan’s violin was allowed to soar into the rafters of this magnificent church brought this short piece to a magnificent ending .
The composer at the keyboard playing without the score creating a magnificent duo with his partner.
As with all contemporary music it would be good to hear the piece again and on this occassion it occurred to me that this 15 minute work could easily have opened and closed the concert and would have given us a chance to appreciate this beautiful piece even more.
The De Falla Suite populaire espagnole for violin and piano was the ideal companion for the sonata that was to close the programme.
Played again by Thibault without the score it was a very fine performance that could have had even more projection and energy that was obviously being saved for the premiere performance that followed.
The concert had opened with the pianist Aida Lahiou born in Casablanca and now an undergraduate at Cambridge where she continues her piano studies with Caroline Palmer too.
Having received her early training from an old friend Marcel Baudet at the Menuhin School (we were on the jury of Monza together and he is artistic director of the YPF Piano Competition).
She too gave the London premiere of a fellow compatriot Nabil Benagdeljalil(b,1972).A fascinating piece “Frisson”Nocturne of 2015 in C minor like the proposed Chopin Nocturne it happily and unexpectedly substituted.
A very interesting piece with an unmistakably Morrocan sound played so convincingly by Aida.
This minuscle pianist went on to give a very big performance of Liszt Ballade n.2 in B minor.Some very beautiful things.
It was played with an intelligence that held this episodic piece together giving it shape and style without any rhetoric.
Hampered only by a small hand it was a very successful performance from someone who feels the music so well.
It is Christmas and this concert from Talent Unlimited Music Charity gave us food for thought and hope indeed.