Music and Vision homepage Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.


<<<  <<  -- 2 --  Julian Jacobson    CLARITY AND HONESTY


The hands and mind that could guide us securely through this benign maelstrom were certainly well adapted to conveying the very different, yet analogously powerful, message of Beethoven's late A flat Sonata. Here Troup's long experience, and the energetic and enquiring mind that has led him to play a significant part in many aspects of musical life, told in a performance that eschewed all unnecessary expression and concentrated on the structure and inner vision of the music.

I have heard warmer, in a sense more 'musicianly' performances of the first movement, but this was not part of Troup's purpose, which was to lay Beethoven's vision before us with absolute clarity and honesty. Any untidiness in the Scherzo was offset by a brilliantly driving and comical Trio. Yet the performance's centre of gravity was in the last movement, as it surely must be in any interpretation of late Beethoven. That extraordinary fusion of recitative, arioso and fugue received a performance which unfolded inevitably right up to the final section where Beethoven seems to throw off all his shackles. Within this Troup could perhaps have allowed himself still more variety of dynamic and colour; the second, G minor arioso (marked 'exhausted' by Beethoven) could have been more withdrawn, and the two fugal sections more contrasted, without impairing the movement's cohesion. But these are small, personal quibbles in a recital that made one wish to hear Troup again -- soon, often, and in a wide variety of repertoire.

Copyright © 18 January 2007 Julian Jacobson, London UK


Malcolm Troup, who studied with Alberto Guerrero and later with Walter Gieseking, has performed all over the world and recorded for RCA Victor and Continuum. His performance of Messiaen's Vingt Regards was judged 'notably perceptive ... with splendid panache' (Financial Times).

He has been Director of Music at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, of which he is a Fellow, and was awarded his own chair at London's City University, where he created the Department of Music. He holds the Commonwealth Medal, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and the 1998 Liszt Medal from the American Liszt Society.

Malcolm Troup was Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians (1999-2000) and is currently Chairman of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and of the European Council of the European Piano Teachers Association, as well as a Trustee of the Jewish Music Institute and Editor of the Piano Journal.

He is much in demand as a member of international piano juries - most recently of the 2006 'Gina Bachauer' International Artists Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, USA.


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