Realms of Gould

The Spiders Goulden Web Beatrice Rana at the Wigmore Hall
“The Spiders Goulden Web”
Beatrice Rana `s monumental performance of the Goldberg Variations for the BBC at the
Wigmore Hall today .
Total silence from a packed Wigmore Hall in which she bewitched us with the same rapt concentration that this 23 year old shared with us.
So rare to see a pianist listening so intently to every note totally still except for her magnificent hands spinning their golden web.
Glenn Gould too was only 23 when he recorded his revolutionary performance and I hear that Beatrice`s CD will appear commercially next month.
It was a young intelligent man`s performance as was Beatrice`s today.
Firstly the transcendental piano playing that was never in evidence for its own sake but was totally at the service of the music.
Always with great taste and intelligence some very subtle colouring and shaping.
Maybe the more rhythmic variations could have been slightly slower and weightier with slightly less rubato in the middle variations but that sense of a monumental rock will grow as this young virtuoso takes her rightful place, in the not too distant future, with the likes of Arrau,Tureck or Pollini.
I well remember some years back inviting both Nikolaeva and Tureck to play the Goldbergs in my theatre in Rome within a month of each other and people commenting on the lack of fantasy in programming .
It was exactly the contrast of two of the greatest Bach players of the century interpreting this masterwork in an intellectually intelligent reading both totally different,that was so stimulating and indeed created quite a stir.
It marked the return to the concert platform of Rosalyen Tureck after having retired to Oxford to study in depth the composer that she had dedicated her life to.
Tureck was magnificently slow and weighty(like Klemperer) a monument etched in marble.
With Nikolaeva music poured out of her in such a simple natural way and had a flexibility and humanity that one felt could change:A monument written in sand (like Bruno Walter).
Beatrice Rana did not quite have the authority which will only come with the maturity of experience but she was someway between these two magnificent extremes and it made for a very stimulating and totally absorbing performance.
Her wonderful Steinway was used to the full never aware of her subtle use of the pedals used only as a harpsichordist would change register.
The whispered simplicity of the return of the theme after almost an hour and a half took our breath away ,I think hers too .
Such was the control and silent virtuosity of this performance ,I am sure it will go down in history as one of the most memorable performances in recent times.
There was certainly magic in the air that one can luckily savour on the BBC radio 3 website(bbc.com/radio 3)

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