Dario Llanos Janvierre at St Mary’s

Dario Llanos Javierre at St Mary’s in Hugh Mathers remarkable series
Darío Llanos Javierre at St Mary`s Perivale .Beethoven,Turina,Liszt in collaboration with the Liszt Society and Keyboard Charitable Trust
Interesting recital by the winner of the 2014 Liszt Society International Piano Prize.
Fine musicianly playing of Beethoven’s op 26 Sonata “Funeral March” in which his rather dry precise playing was in many ways ideally suited although the beautiful andante and variations that opens the sonata could have had more colours and be allowed to sing as in fact Michelangeli demonstrated when he made this sonata indelibly his own.
Very finely etched Scherzo and Funeral March led to a very fluid Allegro final movement. The Beethoven in general , however ,suffered from this rather vertical way of playing that did not allow for a real blending of the sounds and a fuller more orchestral sound in the forte passages that abound .
Some very interesting rarely performed pieces by Liszt , introduced by Dario in which he explained that the Grosses Konzertsolo was a precursor of the great B minor one movement Sonata .
The Romancero espagnol,S695c  according to Dario was only discovered ten years ago amongst Liszt’s papers in Weimar.It was reconstructed by Leslie Howard and not only published by the Liszt Society but also included in the remarkable complete Liszt recordings for Hyperion that earned Leslie Howard an entry in the Guiness Book of Records .
Some remarkable dexterity in the Grosses Konzertsolo but again in his intellectual and musicianly playing in the search for the utmost clarity he missed the sumptuous sounds that abound in the Liszt’s revolutionary use of the sustaining pedal to make truly orchestral sounds and as in the works of Thalberg make us believe that there are many more than two hands at work on the keyboard.
Was in not Anton Rubinstein who said the pedal is the “soul of the piano”.
A magic trick that ‘eluded Dario even though he showed the most remarkable command of the keyboard.
However it was a real tour de force that reminded me of that other remarkable pianist Roger Woodwood championed some years ago by Sir William Glock ,head of the BBC ,and who could give the utmost clarity to the most impossibly difficult scores but in his intellectual pursuit could not seduce or intoxicate his audience with perfumed sounds as could an Ashkenazy or his illustrious contemporaries. The Five Gypsy Dances op 55 by Turina were given fine performances and what they lacked in colour and suggestive sounds made up for with great rhythmic control and spanish fire which was obviously in his blood.
The charming La Romanesca and the beautiful Liszt transcription of Schubert’s La Litanei offered as an encore revealed a more tender side to Darios remarkable pianistic skills .


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