Alexander Soares at St Mary’s

Alexander Soares at St Mary’s
After only a few notes listening in my garden in Italy I found myself sending a message to Roger Nellist who was director of streaming asking who was this remarkable young musician.
Alexander Soares winner of the Gold Medal of the Royal Overseas League in 2015 and promoted by the City Music Foundation.
First class honours degree from Clare College Cambridge followed by a Masters at the Guildhall under Ronan o`Hora.
Guidance from Richard Goode,Stephen Kovacevich,Stephen Hough and Steven Osborne.
Rave reviews “huge intensity” Daily Telegraph “diamond clarity and authority”.
What more can I add.
All this was immediately apparent from the opening bars of Bach`s 3rd English Suite BWV 808.
That Bach`s music is based on the song and the dance has never been more apparent than in today`s performance.
Eyes glued to the keyboard but almost dancing on the stool such was the ebulient infectuous rhythmic energy allied to extreme clarity and very telling subtle contrasts.
The ideal tempo was established from the very first note and was not allowed to waver for a second.
Not that it was mechanical,quite the contrary it had a masculine authority that made Bach`s genius even more poignant.
The great Sarabande was even more expressive with a lack of fussyness or hairpin phrasing.
The expression was in his magnificent use of ornamentation where Bach`s great lines could speak far more simply and eloquently
The Gavotte II was an example to be cherished of pure simple expression.
El Puerto from Iberia Bk 1 by Albeniz was very interestingly introduced by this young musician.
Can it ever have been given such a chacterful interpretation?
Almost caressing the keys with such a wonderful sense of colour.
The ending was pure magic.
As Hugh Mather pointed out to his wonderfully loyal public Gaspard de la Nuit by Ravel was written with the intent to create one of the most transcendentally difficult works for the piano.
Of course for our young pianist this was not even mentioned in his introduction to this suite based on rhe poems of Aloysius Bertrand.
The most remarkable technical feat was in Le Gibet where the relentless tolling of the bell never for a moment wavered even with the clouds of sound in the foreground.The plaintive central chant was played with a clarity and simplicity that was heartrending.
If Ondine floundered momentarily in murky waters at the beginning it was soon drowned and forgotten as his supreme musicianship and sense of line took over.
Scrupulously following Ravel`s meticulous indications in Scarbo which is no mean feat.
With all the trascendental difficulties it was his superb legato that was the most remarkable thing.
He plunged into the depths of Scarbo`s dark world and gradually emerged with masterly control and breathtaking relentlessness.
It may sound rather superficial to say that it was in the Chopin Mazurka in A minor op 17 offered as an encore that his true mastery was revealed.
It was the simplicity,noble flexibility and freedom of an artist that dares to climb up onto the tightrope and remain without ever falling off.
A beautiful final counterpoint took me so pleasantly by surprise in a piece I have heard in a million different sauces.
But then that is the secret of a great artist never to waver for a second from trasmitting the great musical line.
The secret that a chosen few are blessed with.
God bless him !

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