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Chopin is once again becoming a necessary second half inclusion for players eager to show their finesse and poetic leanings in front of younger, more noisy audience members and their older distinguished, better informed opposites. It was a good idea to position the four Impromptus -- superbly performed -- between the first and fourth Ballades in G minor and F minor, except that a sudden, slightly raucous-toned increase of level slightly spoilt the accuracy during the coda of the first, but was better contained in the latter. I have written at some length about the acoustical discrepancies of this hall -- depending on which side you are seated -- and the need for a third party opinion during rehearsal.

Overall, this recital revealed great possibilities ahead for the young 28-year old. At present he stands somewhere between Emil Gilels and Michael Rudy.

The 2005 final recital from Bass Hall, Fort Worth, Texas is even more stunning. Rachmaninov's early Op 33 Etudes Tableaux and revised Second Sonata frames both books of the Brahms Paganini Variations and B major Nocturne by Chopin. Note the enormous care in elucidating every detail of the composers' musical content and style; also the steadiness of tempi, notably in the Variations and Sonata. I shall be at his next recital.

Copyright © 17 June 2008 Bill Newman, Edgware UK





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