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<<  -- 3 --  Malcolm Miller    STRIVING HEAVENWARDS


With the final C minor Sonata Op 111 the set was rounded off with eloquence and power, bringing KT's memorable performances to mind. Roberts' approach to the rhetoric of the first movement was highly charged, never over abrupt or demonic, yet assertive and searching. One sensed his exploratory attitude again, projecting the motivic ingenuity of Beethoven's textures, the three-note motto's contrapuntal development highlighted with a delicate focus. The 'Arietta' held suspense throughout the intensifying rhythmic textures of each variation, but again it was the unaffected nature of the performance that seemed to emphasise all the more the evocative tone of the minor mode variations and final moments. Kendall Taylor's performances, which I was fortunate to attend in his ninth decade (!) conveyed a sublime serenity, the final triple trilling textures (as also in the Op 109 finale) seeming to reach into spiritual spheres. Whilst Kendall Taylor was heavenly, Roberts was striving heavenward, in dramatic readings which were no less compelling and inspiring. At the conclusion of this thrilling concert, one felt only that it was a pity that the audience had been slim, despite attendance by a contingent of younger pianists. It is to be hoped that the Chethams concert will attract a larger attendance.


The Tribute to Kendall Taylor volume recently published by the BPSE is a moving record of the fond affection in which KT was held by his many pupils, colleagues and audiences. This Memorial Concert was a worthy musical tribute that will hopefully spawn further such events. It is fitting that EPTA UK should set up a special prize in honour of their former President, as part of their annual Piano Competition, to complement a new prize at the Belgrade Music Academy, and similar Kendall Taylor awards offered for many years at the Royal College of Music, and the BPSE's annual Intercollegiate Competition. These and similar student-centred events, with the support of foremost interpreters such as Bernard Roberts, will help ensure that KT's enriching influence continues for many generations to come.

Donations to the Kendal Taylor Prize fund would be warmly appreciated and should be sent to: The Administrator, Kendall Taylor Prize, EPTA UK, 1 Wildgoose Drive, Horsham, W Sussex, RH12 1TU, UK. Enquiries to:

For a copy of 'A Tribute to Kendall Taylor', please contact, The Editor, 'Arietta', BPSE, c/o 28 Emperor's Gate, London SW7 4HS, UK.

Copyright © 8 November 2001 Malcolm Miller, London, UK







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