OLD-TIME VIRTUOSITY STAGES A COMEBACK
Daniel Grimwood at St Martin-in-the-Fields,
reviewed by MALCOLM TROUP
Young Daniel Grimwood burst upon his public in St Martin-in-the-Fields [8 August 2006, London UK] like the reincarnation of one of those legendary 19th century gladiators of the keyboard: Gottschalk, Friedheim or de Pachmann. Previously we had known him, if at all, as the second half of a formidable cello/piano duo with Jamie Walton whom the Worshipful Company of Musicians first introduced to us in the Wigmore Hall. Here he was, now, after further studies with Ovchinnikov and, more recently, with Peter Feuchtwanger, to claim his rightful place in the soloistic sun under the auspices of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe.
As often happened with the Old Guard of Brailowsky, Grainger et al, the programmed works were treated as the potboilers -- the equivalent of meat and potatoes -- while the real recital only began with the encores. Not that Daniel didn't do full justice to Beethoven's late Bagatelles Op 126 -- indeed he functions best as a lightweight miniaturist despite his heavyweight 'wolf's clothing'. The same applied to his archly teasing version of Czerny's volatile Variations on 'La Ricordanza', of which most interpretations I have heard content themselves with mimicking if not literally transcribing Horowitz's well-known recording. Not so Daniel, who embellished any repeats with playful passaggi of his own. Only once or twice did a jarring element of 'cuteness' creep in.
Copyright © 11 August 2006
Malcolm Troup, London UK