Jamie Bergin The poetry and virtuosity of a true musician at St Mary’s

Sunday 18 July 4.00 pm 

Schubert: Sonata in A minor D 537
Allegro / Allegretto / Allegro

Brahms: Rhapsody in B minor Op 79 no 1

Granados: ‘The Maiden and the Nightingale’ from ‘Goyescas’

Rachmaninov: Sonata no 2 in B flat minor Op 36
Allegro / Lento / Allegro

Some superb musicianly playing from Jamie Bergin as you might expect from the assistant of the heroic Lars Vogt.


An early A minor sonata of Schubert was played with extraordinary orchestral texturing that brought everything he did vividly to life.His sense of dance and rhythmic energy allied to some truly magical colouring brought eloquence and shape to this comparatively rarely played sonata.
Even the Allegretto,that Schubert was later to use in his penultimate sonata,was embellished with such charm and subtlety.The beautiful legato melody shaped with such loving care as the left hand staccato was so delicately traced.There was a wonderful sense of improvisation in the Allegro vivace last movement with delicate fragments united by a beautifully shaped ascending scale and comments of almost Mendelssohnian lightness and agility.


His superb musicianship shone out in the Brahms Rhapsody where his attention to every minute indication led to a refreshingly mellifluous opening which contrasted so well with the ravishing fluidity of the middle section.The way he led from one episode to another was real poetry and of a true artist who seemed to have the same vision that Brahms had tried to capture with pencil on paper.
The final exciting climax was always within the framework of his architectural vision and made its gradual disappearance a hypnotic succession of magical sounds.


There was beauty and simplicity in the Maiden and the Nightingale with a melodic line accompanied by sumptuous colours played with great sensitivity.Barely whispered confessions mingled with outbursts of passion and a tenor who suddenly made his voluptuous appearance.A truly magical moment was the reappearance of the Maiden with heart rending simplicity answered by the eloquence of the nightingale as it disappeared into the distance with infinite nostalgia.


Rachmaninov’s powerful B flat minor sonata was rarely played until Horowitz introduced it into his last performances.
From that moment it has become in too many cases a show case of barn storming passion and flamboyant virtuosity.
Today in Jamie’s musicianly hands it was restored to the remarkable work that Horowitz indeed had reminded us of.
Jamie has a transcendental technical prowess;a powerful machine that is directed by his poetic sensibility and musicianly sense of architectural shape.His wonderful sense of balance allowed the melodic line to sing out always so clearly.There was of course the sumptuous passionate final outpouring of voluptuous sounds and the breathtaking feats of agility in the coda.But there was also such beauty and gentleness in the meno mosso and a beautiful purity of sound in the non allegro with an extraordinary palette of colours from the underlying harmonies.The enormous amount of notes ,that the great virtuoso Rachmaninov did not spare himself,were however shaped into a seamless stream of quicksilver sounds of ravishing beauty.
A remarkable work of passion, beauty and excitement restored so eloquently by Jamie today to its rightful place in the piano repertoire

Jamie Bergin was born in 1989 and comes from Great Britain. He attended Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester where he studied with Murray McLachlan and completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he studied with Joan Havill. He recently completed the Soloklasse (artist diploma) degree at the University of Music in Hannover where he studied with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and Lars Vogt. In October 2016, Jamie became the assistant of Lars Vogt’s class in Hannover.He has won various prestigious prizes at international competitions including First Prize, Audience Prize and the prize for best interpretation of the commissioned work at the Europäische Klavierwettbewerb Bremen 2012, and Second Prize and the Carl Nielsen Prize at the ‘Bang and Olufsen’ Piano-RAMA International Competition 2011 in Denmark. In 2014, he won the Chopin Wettbewerb (Stiftung Kurd Aschenbrenner) in Cologne, Germany. He has received major scholarships from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and Spannungen Chamber Music Festival in Heimbach. Over the past few years, Jamie has performed solo recitals and concertos throughout Europe at internationally renowned halls including the Bridgewater Hall, St Martin-in-the-fields, The Barbican, the Sage Gateshead, Berliner Philharmonie and die Glocke in Bremen. He has made appearances with distinguished orchestras including the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Manchester Camerata, Bremen Philharmonic and Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. Jamie has appeared at international festivals such as ‘Klavier Festival Ruhr’ (Essen), Schumann (Bonn) and ‘Spannungen’ (Heimbach). He was also featured in a documentary broadcast several times on Channel 4. His performances have been broadcast on radio stations including Radio Bremen and Deutschlandradio Kultur. In June 2016, Cavi-music released an album of chamber music taken from live performances at the Spannungen Kammermusikfest in Heimbach where Jamie plays works by Klughardt and Saint-Saëns.

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/jamie-bergin-at-the-wigmore-hall/

https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/jamie-bergin-for-the-keyboard-trust/

Thank you Christopher as always. Here is the HD link to Jamie Bergin’s excellent recital. Here is the HD version https://youtu.be/qGNtNcKSWXA

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