A standing ovation for Jianing Kong in Hugh Mather’s remarkable Tuesday series in Perivale of some of the most talented young pianists around.
Very distinguished performances of two of Beethoven`s best loved Sonatas : The Waldstein and Appassionata. Somewhat reminiscent of Solomon in its seemingly direct and intelligent musicianship where everything seemed so logical and clearly expounded.
The most noticeable thing about these performances was the luminosity of sound that he was able to find on this not easy instrument. Allied to a very strong Beethovenian temperament he held a full hall enthralled as we listened to these very well known works as if for the first time.
Tightly held together with a very strong and precise rhythmic impulse that seemed to come from within ,such was his identification with the aggressive and at the same time lyrical and calming world that belongs to Beethoven in his middle period. The subdued opening of the last movement of the Waldstein made the irascible outbursts even more unexpected.The continuous pulse of the second movement and its variations in the Appassionata has never sounded more like the cortege that the composer so obviously intended.
The lead into the coda in the last movement literally had us all on the edge of our seats for the animal excitement that he was able to generate. Beethovens pedalling scrupulously noted and intelligently interpreted as at the end of the two sonatas .Especially finely interpreted in the first movement of the Appassionata where the demonic motive reminiscent of the Fifth Symphony took on a frighteningly menacing aspect as rarely heard before. Such precision allied to such innate musicianship was exactly the reason that Solomon sprang immediately to mind.
No encores possible after that but a word of congratulations from our host and best wishes on his recent wedding to another remarkable pianist Caterina Grewe who will be performing the Liszt Transcendental Studies on this very piano in April. Now that is what I would call a very equilibrated household and send them both all best wishes from myself and in particular the Keyboard Charitable Trust for whom they have been selected a few years ago.