Caterina Grewe at St Mary’s – A dream of Utopia

Caterina Grewe at St Mary’s
I had missed this one during the season and judging from the Christmas Tree it must have been the season of good will!

Hugh had told me it was a fine performance but he did not tell me HOW fine it was!
So it was a very pleasant surprise to have an hour of enchantment before listening to the ever more alarming bulletins from Downing Street.

‘A map of the world that does not show Utopia is not worth glancing at.’But then Oscar Wilde ‘had nothing to declare except his genius’

And enchantment it was indeed on this map today!Of a much better world than the one we are experiencing at the moment.
Caterina has a magic wand that cannot be taught or bought but immediately casts a spell over he who dares to enter into her world of sumptuous sounds and ravishing rubato as her fingers caress the keys.
A true technical mastery that allows her to discover the music as it is revealed to her in that moment.
Looking at her and listening to her simple unaffected innocent passion reminds me of Annie Fischer.I will never forget her performance of naked passion in L’Isle Joyeuse offered as an encore after a masterly performance of Brahms F minor Sonata in Rome..
Today the innocence of Schumann’s delicate Arabesque seemed to flow so naturally from her fingers as did the waters in her truly masterly account of Auf dem Wasser zu singen.
The sublime beauty of Der Aufenthalt where the outpouring of melodic effusion was played with such refined sense of style and passionate involvement .A heartrending ending led us so beautifully into the serenity of Du bist die Ruh.Time stood still as the melodic line sang so beautifully with the most delicate embellishments appearing and disappearing like magic in her sensitive hands.
A masterly performance of Liszt’s great B minor Ballade ranging from the meltingly beautiful to the grandest of passionate declamations.A magnificent tone poem and a performance that can only convince us even more that this is amongs the greatest of Liszt’s works.
The second Rhapsody (Tom and Jerry as LangLang describes it)was restored to its rightful place as one of the best known and most loved of all Romantic showpieces.
It was played with the astonishing freedom of someone who had truly got to the heart of the piece with such understanding and commitment.She brought it to life with a freshness and astonishing ‘devil may care’ freedom that Liszt himself must have displayed as the aristocratic audiences of the day were reduced to a spontaneous display of the emotions usually only associated with the masses!
Chopin’s posthumous nocturne in C sharp minor brought serenity and a subtle sense of stillness as she shaped the melodic line with a rare sense of refined Bellinian rubato.
What an oasis this teatime concert is as we prepare for news of this cunning little virus that is bringing such caos and bewildering loss into our daily lives.

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