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Magnificent Performance

More reviews from London's Wigmore Hall,


The Florestan Trio (Susan Tomes, Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester) on 13 January 2007 [Wigmore Hall, London, UK] commanded a packed audience. The musical emphasis here was on Peter Eben's Piano Trio which I previously heard the composer perform at Betramka Park as part of a Prague Spring Festival event. This youthful work establishes the polarity between piano and the two string instruments together with matters of tonal balance. Although I will not go as far as The Independent in their 'sweeping aside of all rivals' with Schubert's Trio No 2 in E flat (with all the repeats), it was finely done. The opening work, Dvorák's early B flat Trio brought individual beauties to bear.

The current first prizewinner of the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition 2006, Romain Descharmes, featured on 19 January 2007. This was a recital and a half. The young 27-year-old chose a finger-breaking programme of music by Ravel (Sonatine, Gaspard de la nuit), Brahms (Sonata No 3 in F minor) and Rzewski (Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues) calculated to display his immense dexterity and complete mastery of colourings allied to his phenomenal technique. Apart from studies with Rouvier, Ivaldi, Koerner and Grappotte, what particularly impressed was the invaluable advices from well-known stylists: Bashkirov, Biret, Rigotto, O'Conor and Yablonskaya -- each part and parcel of a piano tradition that absorbs and communicates a variety of inner understandings and temperaments from which a younger generation can draw upon, almost at will, to match up with their own temperaments. It was also a pleasure to listen to the bright tones of the Yamaha Grand in place of the Wigmore's over-used Steinways and to delve into my old friend Brendan G Carroll's splendid notes.

Ravel's Sonatine was a real treat, cascading notes and phrases literally pouring out from the score with great aplomb in a seamless continuity of many hues and configurations. There was some suggestion of Cortot in his prime -- the typically French contours had such dance-like vision within a clarity of line, nuances and expressivity of an authentic kind.

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Copyright © 6 March 2007 Bill Newman, Edgware UK


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