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Four excerpts from Robert Schumann's Fantasiestucke Op 12 were played with considerable imagination and rhythmic lift. Goodyear's performance lacked the lyricism and singing cantabile line that are the music's essence. Still he captured the schizophrenic, unpredictable Romanticism that is quintessentially Schumann.

In Johann Sebastian Bach's French Suite No 5 in G major BWV 816, Goodyear's playing was merely loud and percussive. Based on Court dances (the Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gavotte, Bourree, Loure, and Gigue), Bach's keyboard suites need rhythmic drive and vigor from the performing artist. This music should dance off the keyboard. Goodyear's music making failed to sparkle. He lacked the wonderfully personal verve and joy that Piotr Anderszewski and Richard Goode bring to this music. This performance was far too sober and lacked tonal coloration and variety.

Goodyear seemed to confuse Johannes Brahms's Scherzo in E flat minor Op 4 with Liszt in his demonic, Mephisto mood. Hard edged pianism, sudden long pauses, and loud climaxes were the order of the day. Where was the playfulness of this early Brahms work? (Scherzo indicates humor.) The more lyrical sections lacked a songful, vocal quality. (Much of Brahms's piano music is keyboard lieder.) While many in the audience found Goodyear's version exciting, the music's lightness and charm were not to be heard.

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Copyright © 7 August 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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