Paradise Lost

Bewitched,Bothered and Bewildered
Florian Mitrea in recital at St Mary’s Perivale Another remarkable pianist in Hugh Pethers stimulating series featuring some of the most talented young musicians on the musical scene in London .
On tuesday it was the turn of a young Rumanian pianist who quite frankly had me pondering as to what I could say that could be constructive and at the same time respectful of his considerable talent. ” Bewitched,bothered and bewildered” as the song goes comes to mind and a glimpse of a “Paradise Lost”
Mozart Fantasy in D minor and Rondo in D major opened his programme intelligently introduced by this very ” simpatico” young man. It was clear from the start that we were in for a bumpy ride as the first notes of the fantasy were almost non existent and I could not understand why he repeated the left hand octave in the opening arpeggiandi .And so it continued with a barely audible piano- pianissimo that was not possible to control especially on this difficult Yamaha .The cadenza like flourishes that interrupt this very well known piece were played with a brilliance and transcendental technique that showed obvious very fine early training,what in German is called fingerfertigkeit .It was just that it bore no relation to the whole. Such were the exaggerations from a barely audible pianissimo to an explosive cadenza it was as though there was no anchor but just a series of episodes, some even extremely beautiful ,and others totally out of context.
Some really beautiful ideas in the D major Rondo the music really seemed at times to speak, but as soon as he played piano or with emotion he lost control and the whole boat started to capsize. It was exactly the same in Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata with some magnificent things in the more rhythmic,technically difficult sections but mixed with some totally uncontrolled ,emotionally unstable cantabile passages. I can understand the great Russian school personified by Radu Lupu or Sviatoslav Richter of trying to get away from the percussive side of the piano and arrive at an extreme legato( as in fact Kempff did in the latter part of his illustrious career) .This combined also with a fantastic digital control . There was a famous Rumanian teacher,the teacher of Lipatti and Lupu in fact, whose whole principal was to make the piano sing and to convince us that this black box of strings and hammers could sing as beautifully as a nightingale . But all these pianists had also in their mind and hearts the long sense of line and of the boat that must arrive at its destination in tact.
The little A minor Schubert sonata fared much better.Infact it was this very Sonata in the first round of the Leeds Competition that put Radu Lupu on the map as the extraordinary artist that we know today. There were in Florians performance some really beautiful things but also some very out of context sections in the fast more technically challenging section .The challenge magnificently mastered it was just it bore no context to the magical world that Schubert and Florian were obviously dreaming of .
In fact a Paradise Lost indeed.
Let there be no doubt this is a remarkably professional and talented young musician and there could be so many things to enjoy in his performances but in my opinion I think he should have a good listen to himself and decide if what he is producing is what is really in his intelligent head and big heart . Another very stimulating recital from that ever enthusiastic and ever ready to help Hugh Mather and tonight this remarkable doctor will join forces with one of the finest cellists and violinists (Jamal Aliyev and Yume Fujise) for an evening of real music making with Beethoven Archduke Trio and the Violin Sonata op 12 n.3 and the Cello Sonata op 102 n.1.
Hats off indeed Dott or should I say Maestro Hugh Mather


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