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BILL NEWMAN has been to the 2001 Spoleto Festival
and reports on his impressions of the surroundings,
local artists and international music-making


Bill Newman - a portrait by Enzo Falcone

<< Continued from last week

To systematically go through each concert would prove an awesome task. Better to try and convey the different artist personalities through their own performances or the matching of styles with others to discover those extra musical results.


11. Pianists

Jeremy Denk is a lyrical player with an obviously wide repertoire -- I never saw him without a manuscript, on or off the platform. He had much of the performing responsibilities, and shone out as a real inspiration to the rest as partner in sonatas, songs and other music, like Martinu's Flute and Piano Sonata with Paula Robison, Mozart's Andante and Five Variations K501 and Sonata in D K448, and in Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with Jonathan Biss. Schumann's Fantasiestücke and Chopin's Sonata in B minor were fundamentally musical, although he was aware that certain details went better during rehearsal.

Pianists Jonathan Biss and Jeremy Denk in Mozart's Sonata K448 for two pianos. Photo: Bill Newman

Jonathan Biss is a very strong player in the classical mould, quite superb in Mozart's transcription of his Violin and Piano Sonata in B flat with Needleman, and Brahms' Quintet Op 34 with Fain, Cerovsek, Huang and Kim. Very exciting in Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata (although slightly wanting in subtlety during the second and third movements), and excellent in both Debussy's Estampes and Schumann's Nachtstücke.

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Copyright © 18 December 2001 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK






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