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The following day the Australian pianist Coady Green, currently working with BPSE Committee member Peter Feuchtwanger, showed us how to do it. Replacing Nika Shirocorad, who was indisposed and unable to come to London, he gave at less than two days? notice a highly intelligent and cogent programme of Beethoven, Schumann and Liszt in which his playing displayed a true artist's capacity for listening, reacting to what he was hearing, and projecting the music with both force and subtlety. His Beethoven Sonata Op 109 was strongly and truthfully characterised, reaching a beautiful Innigkeit when required; any momentary insecurities -- more than excusable under the circumstances -- were immediately recovered from and never threatened the music's flow and structure.

He followed this with a work by Schumann that was entirely unfamiliar to me and, I guess, to most of the audience: his Exercises in the form of Variations on a theme by Beethoven, dating from 1833 but published only in 1976. This fascinating work, foreshadowing Brahms's Paganini Variations but with Schumann's much greater spirit of inspired fantasy and improvisation, is built on the Allegretto from Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. Coady Green proved a fine ambassador for it, with technique of the most natural kind -- nothing merely for display, everything geared to the production of beautiful tone and truthful balance and articulation. Possibly he will find more Schumannesque strangeness and half-lights in the future but this was by any standards a compelling performance. He ended with a brilliant Liszt Mephisto Waltz, just lacking the last ounce of diablerie but exciting all the same. A memorable recital.

Alas, circumstances prevented me from attending the last recital -- Daniella Lehner (mezzo) and Jose Luis Gayo (piano) with a programme of Mozart, Beethoven and Jesus Guridi's Sis Canciones castellanas -- in this fascinating Mini-Festival, which is fast distinguishing itself as an important showcase for outstanding young talents such as these.

Copyright © 15 August 2006 Julian Jacobson, London UK






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