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There are other pieces of music to be heard, as well: symphonies by the Russian Shostakovich, the French Dutilleux, the American Harris, and the aforementioned Austrian Schubert. An interesting mixture.

Mr Lupu is a very tranquil presence on stage. He sits in a chair similar to those used by the orchestral musicians, and seldom moves his body at all. Arms and head, certainly, and occasionally a foot, but for the most part, the expressiveness and passion that instills the music comes entirely from his strong arms and fingers. Much of the time when he is not actually playing, he turns to watch various members of the orchestra as they do their thing. Not the usual behavior of a soloist, but he was consistent in this through all three concerts I attended.

Every now and then a graceful movement of his left arm through the air preceded his entry into the music, as though he were offering a cue to an imaginary force.

Whether loud or soft, fast or slow, each note is distinctly audible in his performance. The chords at the end of the first movement were positively majestic. The modulations at the beginning of the second movement were entirely transparent; each note was easily detected during the subtle shift from one to the next.

Radu Lupu
Radu Lupu

The orchestra was, of course, in excellent form throughout, especially in the crisp brass notes to begin the third movement.

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Copyright © 1 February 2005 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA


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