Two recitals by Alberto Portugheis
impress MALCOLM MILLER
There was a large and enthusiastic audience in attendance at the lunchtime recital given by the Argentinean British pianist Alberto Portugheis at St James' Church, Piccadilly, on 27 July 2011, as part of the regular BPSE lunchtime recital series at one of London's most imposing architectural and historical venues. Enhanced by the attractive sonorities of the Fazioli grand, Portugheis' programme featured some gems of the Romantic piano repertoire, projected with stirring energy and emphasis.
The opening work was Beethoven's Sonata in D, Op 28, Pastoral, projected with bright melodic etching and, despite some overly flexible rubato, many of the surging syncopations received penetrating emphasis, as in the second movement.
In contrast to the rather relaxed tempi of the Beethoven sonata, Carl Maria von Weber's Rondo (Perpetuum Mobile) Op 24 was jet-propelled, Portugheis keeping the flowing, racy passagework apace with fluent virtuosity. Similarly he propelled the elfin textures of Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso in E, Op 14, with delicacy and clarity, contrasting those with the lyrical richness of the theme and pulsating chords, as a type of 'song without words', before the intrepid, fleet-fingered coda...
Copyright © 18 August 2011 Malcolm Miller,