Adrian Brendle at Steinway Hall for the Keyboard Charitable Trust.
Some very fine playing of Beethoven op 57 “Appassionata” Sonata in F minor and the complete Rachmaninoff Preludes op 32.
Showing off all his superb technical and intellectual skills.
Very taut rhythms in the Beethoven and nice to see that the complicated arpeggios in the first movement were played with one hand as Beethoven wrote it and as Arrau insisted it should be played.
The second subject rhythm could have been even more marked as the motif of the sonata is based exactly on that insistent rhythm in all its forms .
The Andante played con moto as Beethoven indicates.
A real cortege as Agosti used to describe it .
Some unusual pointing of the left hand in the second variation but played with such authority it was totally convincing .
Never sentimental as is so often the case but with noble sentiment.
The astonishing link to the last movement was just that!
The Allegro maybe not quite non troppo as Beethoven indicates but played with an enviable precision and authority.
It would have allowed even more of a surprise with the coda Presto and the off beat “sfp” syncopation.
There was no question of not playing the repeat with this thinking musician and it lead inexorably to a Presto of quite extraordinary rhythmic power.
Beethoven’s pedal marks were scrupulously noted and in a more resonant hall would have been even more startling.
But it was the piece especially written for him that brought out all the fantasy and colour that had been difficult to find in such a small hall.
Fou Ts’ong always used to say that it was easier to be intimate in a very big rather than a small one .
A very interesting piece dedicated to him and having its UK premiere:”Invocation,Intermezzo” by Elias Corrinth.
The composer an old school friend was also present.
The Rachmaninoff complete Preludes op 32 had a colossal performance of great brilliance and subtlety.
From the opening in C major to the monumental last Prelude in D flat major.
The wonderful “return” as Moisewitch described n 10 in B minor and the mellifluous B major could have had more tenderness and nostalgia but the last study was breathtaking in its monumental power and authority.
I was not at all surprised to see Ian Fountain in the audience as he is Adrian Brendle’s teacher at the Royal Academy .
He is the only British pianist to have won the Rubinstein Competition in Israel and glad to share his knowledge with such a talented young colleague.
The last of the Gesange der Fruhe op 133 as a rarely played encore.One of the last pieces that Schumann wrote and that my old teacher Guido Agosti loved so much