Hyeyoon Park and Benjamin Grosvenor live at the Wigmore Hall

Hyeyoon Park and Benjamin Grosvenor live at the Wigmore Hall.
What a treat now that the music world is ready to adapt and at last present music as we have always expected and hoped to find it again.
In the vast hallowed hall that is the Wigmore thanks to the enlightened management of John Gilhooly it may seem empty but the music that is created is being feasted by an audience worldwide.
Lunchtime at the Wigmore thanks also to the partnership with the BBC .
But there is also teatime in Perivale thanks to the selfless promotion by Dr Hugh Mather, a retired physician dedicated to giving an audience to some of the finest young musicians in town.
Today at the Wigmore it was the turn of Benjamin Grosvenor with his partner the violinist Hyeyoon Park.
Before the lockdown they were on tour in the USA together and involved in a quartet series.
Benjamin of course is receiving wonderful accolades for his new recording of the Chopin concertos.
But as Martin Handley told us in this lockdown period they have been enjoying gardening,cooking and long walks getting to know their neighbourhood and practicing too judging by their superb performances today.
I remember Ruggiero Ricci being asked why music seemed so streamlined these days.
Wonderful though it is at an unheard of technical standard but the great personalities of the legendary names of yester year are missing.
He explained that travel now is so easy that you can be today in London and tomorrow in Buenos Aires.Playing concerts on consecutive days whereas in the past to cross the Atlantic took many days slow travel by ocean liner.Important days in which one could relax and digest music and just contemplate and enjoy life .
This terrible virus has given us back that time and as we are now awakening slowly the maturity,the passion and the feeling that something special is happening is coming back onto the concert platform as it is also into our lives.
It is different.We are having to adapt and perfect this new path.
I have long admired Benjamin ever since as a little boy he won the BBC young musician of the year award.
I like to think of him as the just heir to Terence Judd tragically taken from us at the beginning of what would have been the career that now awaits Benjamin.
Just two works on the programme but what works indeed!
The three mythes op 30 by Szymanowski are still today astonishing works as they were when first performed by the composer and Pavel Kochanski in 1915….As the composer himself said: ‘ In ‘Mythes’ and ‘Concerto’ Pavel and myself have created a new
style, new expression of violin playing, a truly epoch-making thing. All approximate-in-style works by other composers – be they most brilliant ones – were written later, that is under direct influence of ‘Mythes’ and ‘Concerto’, or with Pavełs direct contribution” [Sergey Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky and others followed Kochanski’s advice when writing violin music].The Spring of Arethusa,Narcissus and Dyads and Pan are the three pieces that make up this extraordinary work.
From the very first magic notes from Benjamin to the soaring sounds of Hyeyoons violin we were transported into a magic world and a kaleidoscope of sounds.From the swirling arabesques on the piano to the bitter sweet melancholy of the violin.A perfect duo and a truly fascinating experience.
The second work was the sublime Sonata by Franck written only five years before his death as a wedding present for it’s finest advocate Eugene Ysaye.A world of delicacy,passion,excitement and a total command that was truly mesmerising.Both players united in a performance that swept us all up in their total dedication and obvious joy to be able to share such feelings with us.
The magical Abendlied op 85 n12 by Schumann in the transcription by Leopold Auer of the original piano duet brought the same stillness and true thanksgiving that Steven Isserlis had offered with his Bach encore yesterday.
An empty hall but a truly full heart.
A heartening experience indeed !

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