The amazing Monsieur Tharaud in Rome

Tharaud in Rome
This is the third time I have listened to a concert by this”youthful” looking pianist whose looks belie his anagraphical age (1968).
Having heard him the first time a few years ago with a very small audience in the very big church that is St Johns Smith Square in London.
The Goldberg Variations were announced promoted by Steinway & Sons.
So it was curious to see a Yamaha on stage and even more worrying to see the score on the piano stand!
Something made me stay to listen and Thank God I did because it was one of the finest performances that I had heard for a long long time.
I even ended up buying his video of the preparation and performance of the Bach that I gave to a well known critic in London to demonstrate the foundation for my enthusiasm .

Programme of todays performance February 2019
I saw a recital announced a year or so later in Rome with the “Appassionata” on the programme and thought I would like to see if on this occasion he played with the score which these days is becoming almost the norm.
Zimerman in Beethoven 4 with Rattle,Richard Goode with a Schubert recital in the RFH are accepted and not even commented on by the critics!
Ogdon too in his last years use the score when he was severely disturbed .It is rumoured that a mistake by his page turner cost him a black eye!
Pogorelich recently too in a long awaited return to London arrived with a page turner who was allowed to sit only three or four paces behind him!
It is true that Curzon and Richter both played with the score in their later years.
It was better than not hearing them at all but they were certainly not the performances of yore
Could one imagine Serkin,Rubinstein or Horowitz with a page turner in tow!
Perlemuter up until his last performance at the age of 90 used to say walking on to the platform was like going to the guillotine!
Myra Hess too in her later years used to play Brahms 2 with the score and get completely lost.
Cortot was advised to leave the score of the Liszt Sonata open at the page where he always lost his way but to no avail – memory was not the problem!
That lonely walk on stage to face an admiring and expectant audience is not for the faint hearted and is only for the chosen few.
The solution of course  as  Glenn Gould found is in the recording studio where it is quite the norm to have the score open.
My wife Ileana Ghione,the renowned actress, when she was studying at the Academy of Dramatic Art  in Rome did something different from what her famous actor teacher had told her.Exclaiming how sorry she was, Tofono told her there is no such thing as right or wrong in Art …….convince me!
I too waited to be convinced by Tharaud

Ileana Ghione at home with Rosalyn Tureck whose return to the platform in 1991 with the Goldberg Variations in the Ghione Theatre in Rome created a sensation throughout the concert world.
……and in fact as you can see he certainly did that and gave one of the finest performances of Beethoven that I have heard ……….that is until this evening.
Such is the PR way of providing very little information about the artists before our eyes that I was forced to consult yet again my dear friend Mr Google to find out more of the elusive Monsieur Tharaud.
I am glad to share with all those like me that might be wondering about his formation:
“Tharaud refuses to keep a piano in his residence because of his belief that he will begin to prefer the pleasure of improvisation to the necessity of rigorous work. He prefers to practice on different instruments at friends’ residences. He composes, but is usually discreet regarding this activity. Before each recording he goes and lays flowers at the tomb of Chabrier in the Montparnasse Cemetery. When asked what a camera would record if it were present at his recording sessions, he replied that he sings, shouts, dances, and argues with the piano (“absurd behaviour – comportements ridicules”).

Tharaud in the Sala Sinopoli Parco della Musica Rome
In 2012, Tharaud took part in the French film Amour by Michael Haneke where he played himself, alongside Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert, although he said that it would not be the start of a film career for him.
Born in Paris, Tharaud discovered the music scene through his mother who was a dance teacher at the Opéra de Paris, and his father, an amateur director and singer of operettas. Tharaud thus appeared as a child in theatres around northern France, where the family spent many weekends. His grandfather was a violinist in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. At the initiative of his parents, Alexandre started his piano studies at the age of five, and he entered Conservatory of the 14th Arrondissement, where his teacher was Carmen Taccon-Devenat, a student of Marguerite Long.
He entered the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 14 where he won first prize for piano in the class of Germaine Mounier when he was 17 years old. With Theodor Paraskivesco, he mastered the piano, and he sought and received advice from Claude Helffer, Leon Fleisher and Nikita Magaloff. In 1987, he won third prize at the International Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona[1] and, a year later, the Senigallia Competition in Italy. In 1989, he was awarded 2nd prize at the Munich International Competition. His career developed quickly in Europe as well as in North America and Japan.
In 2009, he took part in a show devoted to Erik Satie with actor François Morel. Alongside the singer Juliette, he organised a Satie Day at the Cité de la musique, recorded for France Télévisions. He has also worked with the French composer Thierry Pécou, performing the première of his first piano concerto in October 2006 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and later recording it.”
And so to today ……..third time was indeed an even happier experience with Scarlatti/ Beethoven op 109- Rameau /Beethoven op 110.

Exemplary programme notes by Lorenzo Tozzi,critic of Il Tempo who wrote this about the Ghione Theatre in the 1990’s
The Scarlatti sonatas as rarely heard with such style these days – the nearest was Horowitz on his famous recordings in the ‘60’s.
Here was such a startling sense colour and variety of register.The sudden rhythmic impulses reminded me of the legendary recordings of Landowska.
A very interesting choice from the 550 sonatas and introduced so well by Lorenzo Tozzi’s exemplary programme notes.
Opening with two sonatas in D minor.
K 64 that showed immediately his startling sense of colour and purity of sound.
The well known K 9 was played with such enchanting magical trills with slight hesitations followed by sudden rhythmic impulses like electric shocks.
The magic box sounds in the C major K 132 held the audience’s attention with bated breath.
The famous E major K 380 had a telling echo effect with such pauses that gave this piece real space and allowed it to speak at last so eloquently.
K 3 ,the very first of Scarlatti’s sonatas, and the one in which Tharaud delighted in the cat like leaps up and down the keyboard.
Leading to the startling contrasts of K 514 with its virtuosistic figurations and very telling flexibility.
His final choice K.481 in F minor fell to an Andante Cantabile in which his sublime singing touch and extraordinary sense of balance was allowed full reign to seduce us all.
The Rameau too that was a prelude to late Beethoven was played with such fantasy and such liquid pure sound.The “Rappel des Oiseaux”from the Suite in E minor that we are used to hearing in the perfection of Sokolov was here given with such a sense of colour.
The same precision (or almost) of Sokolov but here we could almost see the birds fluttering around the piano.
Four pieces from the Suite in A minor finishing with the well known Gavotte et Doubles where the startling difference between Scarlatti and Rameau ,so eloquently described by Lorenzo Tozzi, were brought vividly to life by this great artist.

Piero Rattalino’s four star review for Tharaud’s new CD.
We were invited after the concert to a CD signing with Tharaud for his new recording of Beethoven’s last great trilogy. They crown his 32 Sonatas that span his life from the youthful innocence op 1 to the profound simplicity of op 111.
Today we were treated to op 109 and op 110 .
Op 111 hopefully next time.
I was interested to hear in the extraodinary music shop before the concert a performance of op 110 that I assumed must be Tharaud.
On asking I was told by the very informed record salesman that it was Gilels!
I had heard Gilels many times in London and will never forget his Beethoven Concerto Series.His Brahms 2 coupled with Tchaikowsky 3 had Gilels and Sir Adrian Boult at logger heads in the rehearsal during the cold war period.
A recital of Schubert Moment Musicaux and little A minor Sonata followed by Shostakovich 2nd Sonata was a deadly combination for drawing  an audience which missed one of the most beautiful recitals I have ever heard.
Of all the Russian school Gilels was the one with his Princely feet firmly placed on the ground and it was very interesting to hear Tharaud just an hour later.
Tharaud’s Beethoven was full of fantasy allied to an intelligence that led to exemplary performances.
Op.109 in particular was full of fantasy whereas like Gilels in op 110  he had his feet much more firmly on the ground.
I found the first movement of 109 a shade too fast but on consulting the score it does in fact say “Vivace” in the original score…..”ma non troppo” was added only to the original edition as though Beethoven too wanted a fluid but calm flow.
The end of the Prestissimo was played with a Serkin like urgency.
It led to the sublime Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo where Tharaud’s magical touch allowed one of Beethoven’s most profound utterings to sing with tenderness and feeling but without a trace of sentimentality.A performance of great serenity even though never missing the urgency in the Allegro vivace or Allegro ma non troppo variations.
Op 110 on the other hand was played with much more passion and I found some of the chordal outburts a little too overpowering for the great melodic line that Beethoven shares with us from beginning to the end.
It was interesting to note that Gilels too had given me the same impression but playing at a much more sedate tempo it seemed to work so well.
A little waltz by Schubert played with the same colour and subtle rubato that allowed us to eavesdrop on this most intimate of performances.
The spell was broken by the drums and wild dance in the Scarlatti Sonata in D K 141.
The famous “Argerich” repeated notes were given a shape and colour as with “Sokolov’s” Rameau that brought this remarkable recital to a breathtaking close.
I just hope that he will now put away his scores until old age and take that ultimate plunge into a world that is already very much his own.
Annunci

Artur Haftman at St Mary’s

Artur Haftman at St Mary’s
Yet another surprise to be able to be in two places at the same time and at last able to hear this young musician again.
I was overwhelmed by his recital in 2016 at St James’s Piccadilly in his very first year of studies in London with Dmitri Alexeev at the R.C.M.
As you can see from my notes above some extraordinary playing with a lunchtime public that did not want to let him go and infact it was almost teatime when we were asked to leave!

CD for the 100th Anniversary of the Indepedence of Poland
Now with a CD in hand and in his final year of Masters Degree from the RCM I was very interested to hear his playing three years on.
Chopin’s Polonaises were described as “canons covered in flowers.”
His studies could also be similarly described.
In the right hands we should not be aware that they were written with technical problems in mind. These are indeed hidden behind such poetry and passion that only the performer should know the hurdles that need be surmounted.
You can see what I mean in more detail from my notes on another young pianist,Beatrice Rana, who also played the Etudes op 25 recently.
I was sorry to hear of a last minute change that robbed me of the chance to hear this young Polish man’s studies op 25.
Important engagements in the USA with different repertoire led to this change .
However it did not rob us completely of a chance to hear other pieces from his repertoire of Polish composers.
In fact the concert ended with Chopin’s Polonaise Heroique op 53 and included the Waltz in A flat op 34 and the Nocturne in D flat op 27 n.2.
All pieces that his compatriot and namesake Artur (Rubinstein) would regularly include in his programmes.
But we had to wait to the very last piece before we heard the style and verve of that young fellow who had so impressed me at St James’s three years ago.
The Moszkowski “Caprice Espagnole” op 37 played with all the grace and charm of the great pianists of the past.
Not many people know that my old teacher Vlado Perlemuter studied with Moszkowski,both being of Polish origin before Perlemuter was befriended as a teenager by Alfred Cortot.
A beautiful liquid sound in the D flat nocturne that was bathed in the sunlight that the pedal and an acute sense of balance can give to a true artist.
The waltz in A flat too played with a great flexibility and subtle sense of style.The filigree passage in the coda was as irrisistable today as it was in Rubinsteins hands.
Two Mazukas from op 24 played with such subtle rhythm and sense of dance that only the Polish seem to understand.
Fou Ts’ong of course is the great exception to that although he did study in Warsaw!
Two pieces from op.14 by that great statesman and pianist- composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski completed this “Polish” part of his programme.
The famous Minuet in G and the lesser known Cracovienne Fantastique the first and last pieces from op 14.
The concert started with Schubert’s Impromptu in G flat op 90 n.3 a piece that Rubinstein too would often include in his programmes together with n.4.
Here immediately established the beautiful tone and sense of balance allied to a flexibile beat that was the hallmark of much of the recital today.
The Sonata on B flat K 281 by Mozart was played with great precision and rhythmic energy but just missed the “stile galante” that this early piece needs.
The Rondo was a shade too fast to allow Mozart’s impish sense of humour to shine through as it would have in Curzon or Uchida’s hands.
The first movement could have had some of the same flexibility that he had demonstrated to such effect in his compatriots music.
The Andante amoroso of course was bathed in the same beautiful sound that had shone through so beautifully here in Circeo where I was privileged to have Artur Haftman play in my home whilst seated in front of the log fire thanks to the wonderful dedication and expertise of Hugh Mather and his colleagues in the all too distant Perivale.

St Mary’s Perivale

Lago di Paola Circeo
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Yuanfan Yang at St Mary’s Perivale

Yuanfan Yang at St Mary’s Perivale
It may seem strange to see a foto of St Peter’s Basilica here but thanks to the skill of Hugh Mather ,Roger Nellist and their superb team in Perivale I have been able to listen to the recital by Yuanfan Yang here in the theatre where he will be performing for the Keyboard Trust in January 2020.

Teatro Ghione St Peters Square Rome
I am very proud after listening today to announce his Italian Tour that will include Venice,Padua,Vicenza,Viterbo and Rome – The tour that another of Hugh Mathers star pianists,Ilya Kondratiev completed just a month ago.
I have heard Yuanfan Yang many times since that first occasion when he won the Liszt Society UK Competition with a superbly poetic account of Vallee d’Obermann.
He was just coming to the end of his studies with Murray McLachlan at Chetham’s and in 2015 was about to start his first term at the Royal Academy studying with Christopher Elton.

Yuanfan Yang
He swept the board last november in Rome winning first prize at the Rome International Piano Competition directed by the indomitable Marcella Crudeli (the Fanny Waterman of Italy)
I had indicated to the Jury that they might like Yuanfan to improvise an encore after his superb prize winning performance of Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto.
He did just that and created the same sensation that he did today for Hugh in Perivale with an incredible display of musicianship and virtuosity that is very rare these days.
Gabriela Montero is the only other pianist I know that can do that and quite rightly has a great following for her improvisations .

recording studio
It is good to see how a young talented musician can mature and gradually acquire a true depth of sound.Spending all the hours needed at the keyboard but with superb musicians at his side making sure that no damage is done to his natural musicality on the long journey to becoming a great professional.
Today as we were aware Yuanfan Yang’s musicality is not only intact but of an intelligence and with a sense of style of someone much older.
The Brahms Handel Variations op 24 that closed the programme I have written about recently in his superb performance for Canan Maxton’s Talent Unlimited Showcase Concert:
It was infact one of the finest performances I have heard in public of this monumental work.Today it was just as fine but maybe slightly less perfect than his previous performance.
The overall architectutal line and sense of colour though was even more remarkable.
The repeat of the variations very delicately coloured with some new counterpoint that could in lesser hands sound like a gimmick or at worse rather superficial.
Here is was so subtly done it was an absolute revelation in a work that too often can sound rather heavy and ponderous.
It is one of those works that is given to students together with the Wanderer Fantasy and 32 Variations to acquire a technical assurance too often at the expense of the music!
The opening work was Schumann Carnaval op 9 and I think this may be new to Yuanfan’s repertoire because it received a magnificent performance of such overall perfection that it will now with future performances mature into one of the very finest performances that one could wish to hear.
Such a great sense of style and a rubato and flexibility of the melodic line that was so compelling.
A work I have heard many many times from all the greatest pianists over the years but today listening on the stream from Perivale I was absolutely captivated.
A great sense of cantabile for “Chiarina” that led to a beautifully fluid “Chopin” where the sotto voce repeat was absolute magic.
Such variations in sound from the spiky “Pantalon e Colombine” to the aristocratic “Estrella”.
The superb legato in “Reconnaissance” where the repeated note accompaniment was only evident to us that knew it was there.
Pity not to include “Replique” as some pianists do, like Rachmaninov who added it with great effect.
Beautiful counterpoint alla Cortot in “Valse Noble” and a fleetingly nimble “Papillons”. “Lettres Dansantes” were just that as Coquette was equally beguiling if not over simple.
The grandeur of the “Valse Allemande” only rudely interrupted by the appearance of “Paganini.”So demonic and technically assured I have certainly never heard it played with such assurance in public before.
The final chord illuminated by the pedal so perfectly.Not an easy feat on a Yamaha piano.
A touching sense of rubato in “Aveu” before the total control of the arrival of the Davisbundler.Played with passionate involvement and great sense of grandeur but with tone so full but never hard.
It was just this beauty of sound and sense of balance that was quite breathtaking in the Litanei in Liszt’s arrangement of Schubert’s most perfect melody.
A truly sumptuous sound that came over magnificently on the streaming that I was privileged to hear in Rome today .

A bouquet from an admirer at the end of the concert
A lovely bouquet from a little girl who was invited to play a few notes that Yuanfan then astonished us all with his superb improvisation.
The great sense of ease and enjoyment he comunicated to us was only the confirmation of a major talent arising from this still very young Scottish pianist composer.
The sound on the streaming was superb.Infact I do not ever remember the sound being so full and beautiful in Perivale as it was in Rome today.
Of course the arrival of a major talent played its part too.
Hats off to all those in Perivale that allows the world to share some of the major talents that for many years have been invited to play in this musical Mecca .

St Mary’s Perivale

St Peters Square in Rome

A Woman for All Seasons in Frascati

A Woman for All Seasons in Frascati
The very imposing Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati .Built in 1598 it can boast frescos of Cavalier d’Arpino and Domenichino.

Villa Aldobrandini Frascati
The scene of many noble visitors on the “Grand Tour” in the 18th Century including Liszt,Marie d`Agoult,George Sand and many others.
Today scene of a chamber music concert directed by Marylene Mouquet with Aldo D`Amico and Adele Auriol.
A programme of Mozart Beethoven and Brahms.
Some beautiful sounds from the Steinway in the hands of Marylene Mouquet in the Mozart Divertimento K:254 which opened the concert.
A graduate from the Paris Conservatoire, Ecole Normale and the Brussels Conservatory.She continued her Studies at the Chigiana in Siena with Michelangeli.
She has been living for many years in Frascati and is a distinguished professor at the Rome Conservatory.
She is the Founder and President of the Musical Association named after Michelangeli in Frascati
Some very fine playing from Adele Auriol whose beautiful violin sound shaped the Spring Sonata so well and together with Marylene gave a very convincing performance in which the melodic line was passed from one instrument to the other in a real musical conversation.

FouTs’ong       Duda           Ileana Ghione     Linda Alberti and Students
Joined by the distinguished cellist Aldo D’Amico they gave a very fine performance of Brahms Trio op 114.Played with great involvement and each player listening intently to the other giving great sweep to the long passionate lines in this late trio of Brahms.
It is the Scuderie where I played many times with our much missed Lya de Barberiis.
A quick visit to Danuta(Du da) and her husband Ezio Alovisi .
Duda a close friend from her Warsaw days with Krystian Zimmerman and Fou Ts`ong and teacher of many fine musicians including Michelangelo Carbonara,Mattia Ometto and Abha Valentina Lo Surdo.

Duda and Ezio Alovisi with Brando
Ezio was the stage director for Lydia Agosti`s production of Trouble in Tahiti that I directed from the keyboard in Perugia in the `80`s
An afternoon of very fine playing from these very distinguished players.

Aldo D’Amico Marylene Mouquet Adele Auriol

Ivan the Conqueror…Rome debut of Ivan Krpan

Ivan the conqueror…… Ivan Krpan at La Sapienza University Rome
Hats off to the University of Rome for inviting year after year the winners of the Busoni Competition to their Concert season in the Aula Magna of La Sapienza.
With the magnificent frescos of Manzu overlooking the scene, this season alone includes Roberto Cominati (1993),Alexander Romanovsky(2001) past winners and the most recent winner in 2017: Ivan Krpan.
It also includes the Cremona Quartet who so valiantly performed in the semi final stage in Bolzano with the contestants and awarded their own prize to Anna Geniushene, who was invited to give concerts with the Quartet throughout Italy.

La Sapienza Campus in the centre of Rome
Chloe Jiyeong Mun(2014) was invited to the Sapienza IUC series in the previous season

Ivan Krpan
The Keyboard Charitable Trust via their founders have been supporters for many years of the Competition that is held in Bolzano.
For some years a career development prize has been offered by the Trust to the most talented pianist from each competition.
They are invited to perform in London and elsewhere helping them on their long journey to establishing a career.
Michail Lifits  (2008) ,Alexander Romanovsky(2001),Chloe Jiyeong Mun(2014) have all benefited from this and now it is the turn of Ivan Krpan.(2017)
Ivan recently played in London the same programme that was heard in Rome today ……….here are my thoughts on this unexpectedly mature musician.
Three encores by great demand for a public completely convinced by this young musician just as the enlightened jury of the Busoni competition had been two years ago.
The same Bach Busoni choral prelude as in London but then a crystal clear account of the Praeludium from Bach’s first Partita.
Such an intelligent reading of great colour and clarity it had us all wishing we could hear the entire work.
That will be next time for sure.
The last encore was by Chopin: a Prelude from op. 28 , which he has recently recorded together with the Schumann Fantasie op. 17 for the Busoni Foundation.
The prelude op. 28 n.15 (Raindrop) played with such a beautiful liquid sound.
Seemingly all the time in the world given to the ornaments as a great singer would do.
The time taken at the end was of such beauty and timelessness he had the audience hanging on to each note.
The long silence at the end was only broken by someone wishing to be heard on the Vatican Radio recording.
No doubt the same person who had interrupted the flow at the end of the Busoni Second Sonatina and with great authority was hushed by our young knight in shining armour.
Talking to this young man one is struck by his authority and conviction not only in his interpretations but also of the programmes that he has so carefully crafted together.
The Busoni Sonatina led imperceptedly (except for one!) into Liszt’s extraordinary “Pensee des morts” which in its turn became the “Dante Sonata.”
The two Beethoven sonatas taken from his last six sonatas of thirty two.
But the two sharing the same tonality of E .
The little two movement E minor op 90 with its seemingly innocent Schubertian second movement contrasting with one of Beethovens’ greatest statements of a theme and variations in op 109.
A fascinating journey from a real thinking musician.

Ivan greeting the Croatian Ambassador
I had asked Ivan if he did not find it tiring to play the same programme over and over again.
His reply was the same as Sokolov: that every time there was something new to see and this way he could delve deeper into the heart of these great works.
It was certainly not boring but totally stimulating!
For us too dear Ivan …….and thanks to an enlightened jury in Bolzano and the Keyboard Charitable Trust the world is a little closer to embracing a great interpreter.

An admirer and fellow musician who had followed Ivans success in Bolzano

A distinguished public at the University.Michele Sforzo of La Barcaccia fame in the foreground

A well earned Florentine Steak for the conqueror as he moves on to Avezzano on his long tour organised by the Busoni Foundation.

The famous frescos of Manzu in the Great Hall of the Sapienza University in Rome

Vive la France Brocal and Bavouzet in London

Vive la France …..Brocal and Bavouzet in London
Julien Brocal at the Chopin Society London.
A real French infusion today .
Julien for Lady Rose and Jean- Efflam at Wigmore.
Some wonderful clear luminous playing from both.
Also an overlap of waves from Miroirs.
Julien Brocal at Westminster Hall at 16.30 on Sunday afternoon for the The Chopin Society UK
I first heard Julien Brocal in Monza when I was on the jury of the Rina Sala Gallo International Piano Competition-I do not accept invitations to judge my betters but on this occasion my dearest friend Constance Channon-Douglass was too ill to be present and asked me to step in for her.

Connie with Shura after one of his many recitals at the Ghione theatre and the bedspread from Monza
She has since passed on to a better life with her beloved husband Cesare and her adored Shura and many many other friends who loved her joie de vivre,intelligence and warmth.
A young french pianist played an extraordinary Schumann Carnaval in one of the rounds and although he did not make the final I had noted his quite exceptional artistry.
He asked me what advice I could give him but it was Maria Jose Pires who answered that by taking him under her wing and sharing the concert platform with him in her ever generous way.
I heard them play Mozart Double together in Oxford and I went back to thank her for all that she was doing to help these remarkably talented young pianists reach a public and start a career.
She said that it was she that should thank them for all that they gave her with their youthful enthusiasm and dedication!

Julien at the Chopin Society
I bought his first CD on line and when he found out that it was me he wrote this beautiful inscription.
So pleased he is doing well….but I did tell you so!!!!!
The beautiful red and gold background here is the bedspread that I bought with the fee they very generously gave me in Monza for having such a wonderful time…….so all is well that ends well ……..sweet dreams indeed!
Wonderful cantabile sound from Julien and very beautiful Mompou Variations on Chopin op 28 n.7.
Superb Chopin Nocturnes op 15 too, even if rather fast the G minor n.3 .
His wonderful Miroirs have been encapsulated for posterity on his new CD (see below.)
Raindrop as an encore where you could have heard a pin drop.
The moments of silence at the end spoke much louder than any applause.
Jean- Efflam’s amusing and informed introduction to Boulez Notations was a revelation.I will Always remind myself of the signposts when taking up the driving seat in foreign parts!
Magical Jeux d’eau.
The same clarity of Julien in the two Miroirs offered – Une Barque sur l’ocean and Alborada del gracioso.
An astonishing op 14 Schumann …..which is on on his new CD in the Horowitz edition to whom he played it.
A quite extraordinarily rhythmic performance of Prokofiev’s 3rd Sonata .
With a clockwork precision that Ravel would have much admired.Allied to a great sense of colour and above all a clarity and sense of direction.
Feux d’Artifice was the encore.
La Marseillaise a mere vision in the distance!
Vive la France indeed.

Jean Efflam Bavouzet at the Wigmore Hall

Julien Brocal with Lady Rose Cholmondeley

Mitsuko Uchida plays Mozart in London

Mitsuko Uchida plays Mozart
An evening of pure magic with Mitsuko Uchida …..
Mozart crowned with a sublime encore of the Schubert Minuet and Trio from the G major sonata.
From the doll like perfection of the concerto in F K 459
………………………………………….to the dark whispered hues of the D minor K 466……..
Perfection cannot be defined but by God it hits hard when it strikes as it did tonight.
A superb Mahler Chamber Orchestra was the perfect foil for such beauty.