Piano tour de Force at the Romanian Institute

Concert at the Romanian Culturale Institute in Belgrave Square,packed out for the first collaboration with the Keyboard Charitable Trust in a concert billed as a Piano Tour de Force to celebrate that remarkable musician George Enescu. Two of the KCT`s finest pianists Evgeny Genchev and Mihai Ritivoiu in a real feast of virtuoso piano works by Bach,Chopin,Liszt ,Vine ,Silvestri and,of course Enescu. The majestic Overture in a French style with Evgeny that opened the concert contrasted well with Carl Vine`s Toccatissimo with Mihai,written as a trial of fire for the Sydney International Piano Competition. The sharp well defined rhythms brought to life by the two young virtuosi with a real sense of urgency and impulse but never lacking in sharp dynamic contrasts. The overt virtuosity of the Vine superbly brought to life with real feats of dexterity from delicate pianissimi to overpowering fortissimi ,never a harsh sound from this young musician always with a clear sense of line . The virtuosity was less evident in the Bach of Evgeny ,but anyone who knows these pieces will have appreciated the real tour de force needed to bring this neglected masterpiece to life. Two Enescu pieces: Mihai with the Pavane and Evgeny with the unpublished Regrets ,gratefully sent for the occasion by the Enescu Foundation. The music has much in common with that other polyhedric genius Ferruccio Busoni and reflects very much the period it was written . Evgenys beautifully suggestive sound palate suited Regrets and led to some very refined music making and for us with the wish to hear some more of these much neglected works. Mihais Pavane was more down to earth which may have been indeed a later less romantic piece. And now the two great romantic works on the programme Chopin`s Polonaise Fantasie op 61 and Liszt`s Dante . In this beautiful house in one of London’s most elegant squares it must have been reminiscent of the duel between the great virtuosi of Liszt`s day. Mihais Chopin perhaps more fantasy than polonaise but playing of such refinement as to be reminded that these masterworks are indeed canons covered in flowers . Evgenys Dante had all the diavolism that Liszt himself must have demonstrated coupled with some sublime contrasts that put the much played work into its true perspective as one of Liszt` s true masterpieces. The duel now over the fun could begin with our two young virtuosi joining forces,four hands on one piano for Constantin Silvestri`s Romanian Dances from Transylvania. Reminiscent of Bartok I well remember Silvestri as conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and at the RFH and it was interesting to be reminded of what a real musician meant in days not so far away every bit as reminiscent of the kappelmeister of Bachs time. These dances played with real” joie de vivre” now the concert was drawing to a close and a very insistent public were rewarded with a repeat performance of one of the more energetic dances. Great success was crowned with drinks in the beautiful wood panelled library of this magnificent Romanian Institute We look forward to many more such enjoyable and instructive evenings in the future


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