Filip Michalak with Prof.Julia Mustonen-Dahlkvist
Today Filip Michalak
,still only 22 kept a full house in his spell with music of Scarlatti,Haydn ,Bacewicz and Chopin.
A Scarlatti that bubbled over with the infectious ” joie de vivre” that Alicia De Larrocha in all her jewel like simplicity used to excite us with a few years ago.
I learn that Filip’s teacher Prof Julia Mustonen- Dahlkvist from the Swedish Academy was a student of that great lady.
The same simplicity and absolute clarity was apparent today as he offered these two little jewels with a polish and absolute precision that had an infectious joy to it.
The precision of the trills in the Sonata in D minor K.10 was no mean feat on a Steinway concert grand!
Haydn Sonata in E minor Hob VI 34 was played with the same clarity and enviable precision of the Scarlatti that preceded it.
Played with a musical intelligence but in no way tip toeing around the notes that contain almost as much substance as Beethoven’s monumental 32.
But played with a real sense of style that made one wonder why these Haydn Sonatas are not more often heard.
Sokolov presents 3 Haydn Sonatas as the first half of his recital programme this year. And what a wonder they are.
I remember Fou Ts’ong being being a great advocate of Haydn and not understanding why it was not played more often .
It takes a great musician to bring these works to life with the colour and sense of style that they demand.
Filip played with a wonderful sense of colour in the Adagio never allowing the rhythm to flag always with just the right amount of pedal to allow the piano to sing without becoming too dry.
A first movement that was a model of style .So delicately poised but with a rhythmical impulse that never allowed the attention to waver for a second. A vivace molto of great charm played again with a clockwork precision that was very much a hallmark of the De Larrocha school of Frank Marshall.
A tour de force of transcendental pianism showed the other side of this young pianist in Bacewicz’s monumental 2nd Sonata of 1953.
A virtuoso performance not only for the keyboard command but for the amazing kaleidoscope of sounds that he could find in this rather dry acoustic.
As the composer says herself ” A lot happens in my music .Aggressive and at the same time lyrical”.
And certainly a lot happened in a performance that mesmerised all present with a wish to know more music of this much neglected composer.
A student in the ’30’s of Boulanger for composition (paid for with a scholarship from Paderewski) and later Carl Flesch for violin she gave secret underground performances during the terrible war years in Warsaw.
Dedicating herself totally to composition after the war I remember playing once a violin sonata of hers and of course there is the notable present day advocacy of Zimmerman with this very sonata.
An advocacy that is on a par with that of his mentor Rubinstein for his friend Szymanowski.
A short interlude before the Chopin B minor Sonata gave Leslie Howard
just time to regale us with a few words of wisdom.
Filip although Danish born is of Polish parents.
His mother a pianist .
And so it was an evident choice to finish his recital with the Sonata op 58 by Chopin.
Some beautiful sounds always in this young poets hands but for me all the intelligence and scrupulous respect for the score was not as evident as it had been in the first half of this remarkable recital.
Of course many many beautiful things but maybe rather too generous with the pedal to allow the perfect clarity that had been so evident before.
It was played with the true passion and character of that other young pole that had the longing and nostalgia for his homeland far away.
A very exciting and heart felt performance for a true poet of the piano made one hope that under the guidance of his very fine teacher, who was present in the hall, he might take another look at Chopin’s indications and leave the old Chopin tradition to the past where it truly belongs.
Una risposta a "Filip Michalak in London for The Keyboard Charitable Trust"