How could one ignore anyone who programmes the Hammerklavier with the Concord Sonata tonight in London.
Alexander Lonquich has programmed the same two works that unfortunately may not be heard in Italy this season.
A programme of giant intellectual significance and for the chosen few.
A Hammerklavier of great clarity with moments of immense input of energy.Some crystalline sounds etched into the fabric of the Adagio sostenuto made one realise just what he meant by Appassionato e con molto sentimento.
Played with the score more as an ‘aide memoire’ as he hardly glanced at it but threw himself in true Beethovenian fashion headlong into the fray.
The cadenza in the scherzo was breathtaking as it was breathless.And the sudden change of gear was quite riveting.
The fugue had all the struggle and energy that I remember from Serkin.Not quite so frenzied but with an enviable clarity and intellectual control that brought this immense work to its mighty conclusion.
The first movement was played with two hands but with the same element of daring that is inherent in this final call to arms after the fifth symphony.
What to say of the Concord Sonata by Ives.
Hard to believe it was written in 1915 as Aimard took us a journey of extraordinary control and resilience.A burst of energy from first to last with an undercurrent that swept all before it.
A perpetuum mobile that was astonishing as were the extreme contrasts of pure calm with great cascading clusters of notes and even hints of Yanky doodle!
Everything bar the kitchen sink even though some elements from the there were discretely in evidence and placed on the stand by a page turner of true heroic stature.
A standing ovation ……follow that you might say…..impossible even for the genial musicianship of Aimard