Jonathan Ferrucci at St Mary’s

Tuesday 30 June 4.00 pm

Streamed ‘live’ concert in an empty church

Jonathan Ferrucci (piano)

Bach: Toccata in G minor BWV 915
Bach: French suite no 5 in G BWV 816

  1.                                                       Allemande Courante Sarabande Gavotte Bourrée Loure Gigue

Schumann: Fantasy in C Major Op 17

  •   Durchaus fantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen; Im Legenden-Ton – Mäßig. Durchaus energisch – Langsam getragen.                                                                                    Durchweg leise zu halten.

Italian-Australian pianist Jonathan Ferrucci has given concerts throughout Europe, Australia, the US and Japan. In London he has performed in Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall. As winner of the Jaques Samuel Competition in 2016, his Wigmore recital was professionally recorded and he was invited to play at Fazioli Concert Hall in Italy. In 2018 he made his debut at Carnegie Weill Hall as part of the “Guildhall Artists in New York” project and was a winner at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig. In 2019 he was a Rising Star for Portland Piano International and gave a masterclass and recitals throughout Oregon.Jonathan studied at the Conservatory of Music in Florence with Giovanni Carmassi, then in London with Joan Havill at the Guildhall, where he completed a masters degree, Artist Diploma, and Artist Fellowship. His studies have been supported by the Leverhulme Trust, Jessie Wakefield Award, Guildhall School Trust and Tait Memorial Trust. Jonathan’s artistic development has been profoundly influenced by Aldo Ciccolini and Robert Levin, and by his ongoing studies with Angela Hewitt, as well as masterclasses with Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, Peter Frankl and Christian Zacharias.As co-founder of Made in Music, a non-profit, he organized two festivals bringing together musicians from eight countries. He believes that music is a universal language that can unite people from different cultures and backgrounds. Alongside his time at the piano, Jonathan practises Ashtanga yoga and considers it an integral part of his work, and essential in his life.Illustrated below for Yoga day :

As you can see and read I have heard Jonathan on many occasions and always marvel at his Bach playing of such  clarity combined with a delicacy and above all for his teasing very personal use of ornamentation.
From the very opening flourishes of the Toccata in G minor here was someone with something  important to say .There were such colours and meaning in every note but at the same time played with absolute clarity .From the  nobility  of the opening  changing  to deeply contemplative and yet again to a playfully understated dance.All this within a span of a few minutes.A stillness in the  moving central section before bursting into the rhythmic impetus of the toccata and the final virtuosistic  flourishes  before plunging to the final  bass  notes.
The beautifully simple pastoral opening  of the Allemande  of the 5th French suite was immediately followed by the infectious dance rhythm of the Courante.The Sarabande was played with a sublime simplicity and wonderful sense of balance that was even more poignant in the ritornello.The charmingly hesitant opening of the Gavotte  gradually took sail and led to a scintillating Bourée like a ray of sunshine with the ornaments glistening like jewels in its busy percourse.The Loure was played with a melancholic yearning of great meaning.The Gigue was full of such gaiety with an amazing clarity in which every strand was so clearly heard and the ornamentation in the ritornello just added to the sense of enjoyment  with some wonderful changes of colour that were really quite breathtaking.
He immediately plunged into the world of Schumann with the passionate outpourings of this work dedicated to Liszt and written as a contribution to the appeal to erect a monument to Beethoven in Bonn.The monument was eventually completed, due mainly to the efforts of Liszt, who paid 2,666 thaler, the largest single contribution. It was unveiled in grand style in 1845, the attendees including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and many other dignitaries and composers, but not Schumann, who was already ill.
The first movement though was written  as a lament on being separated from his future wife Clara.It is  full of passionate longing and at the same time heartrending delicacy.The problem is to wield these two elements together  with an underlying rhythmic energy that is like an undercurrent that is always present although now passionate and now subdued. Jonathan produced some wonderfully full sounds and literally rose to the occasion with passionate involvement never loosing his control and sense of architectural shape as they dissolved into the most beautifully shaped quieter,contemplative  sections.
In his search for exquisite colours he sometimes lost this sense of forward movement that combines these Floristan and Eusebius characters into one complete lament.The ending with the quote from Beethoven: ‘to the distant beloved’ was touchingly played with such beautiful colours.
The second movement was played in a very measured way where Schumann’s sometimes irritating dotted rhythms were in Jonathan’s hand turned into the most beautifully shaped melodic episodes.The middle section in particular was played with a rich sonority and  beguiling sense of colour.The trecherous coda was played with great shape and amazing control and brought this movement to a tumultous ending before the magical opening of the final slow movement.Here Jonathan’s artistry and commitment were united with his musicianly sense of control for a truly moving performance.The rhythm even in the greatest of climaxes  was perfectly controlled and  shaped and the final ecstatic few bars were allowed full reign before the calming  final chords brought this extraordinary masterpiece to a very moving conclusion-
Jonathan Ferrucci can be heard again  with the Schumann op 17 and Bach 5th French Suite   together with the Bartok Sonata in a special live stream from Perivale to Washington on the 12th July at 19h .It is a joint collaboration between the Washington Arts Club directed by Burnett Thompson ,the Keyboard Charitable Trust and St Mary’s Perivale.


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