MALCOLM TROUP reports on the
BPSE Summer Festival at London's Regent Hall,
where for the first time Music,
not consumerism, called the shots
This year London's BPSE Summer Festival was no longer a balm for tired shoppers from the Oxford Street sales, as it used to be, but rather a consolation for frustrated consumers fearful of splurging in times of recession and redundancy. For that reason we began [on Friday 15 July 2011] with a programme of piano duets as if nothing had changed since the days when the piano provided the sole source of entertainment in the front parlour before the days of plasma screens. There was even a sense of Master-and-Pupil at seeing the mature figure of Julian Jacobson, professor of the Royal College of Music, paired off with Mariko Brown -- a slip of a girl who might almost have been his daughter -- but who proved by the time this lunchtime recital reached its resounding climax that she could give as good as she got!
But before getting into their stride with Beethoven's early Duet Sonata Op 6 in D, Julian splashed out with an even more generous topping of Beethoven in the rarely-performed F major Sonata Op 54. Rarely performed with good reason since it calls unwelcome attention to the pianist's octave-technique (in the first movement) and to his 'finger-fertigkeit' in the Prestissimo perpetuum mobile of the second (there being only the two)...
Copyright © 13 August 2011 Malcolm Troup,