Cristian Sandrin in concert for the Imogen Cooper Music Trust.In the sumptuous new concert venue in Knightsbridge that can boast a magnificent piano and unique atmosphere for chamber concerts.
It is a major addition to the London concert scene with its warm friendly atmosphere and perfect acoustic . Lord Burlington would take his guests after dinner ,to a concert with Handel performing ,to the copy he had made of La Rotonda of Vicenza transplanted into the countryside of Chiswick.Mozart tells us in his letters of going for a ride in the countryside of Chelsea!
This beautiful house just behind Harrods has just such an atmosphere of rare friendly elegance .
We were able to be ravished tonight by Chopin B minor Sonata and Beethoven op 111 separated by C.P.E Bach Sonata in C minor.
Great works that need a master musician to bring them to life and Cristian showed off his aristocratic good taste and intelligence in performances where the architectural line was of fundamental importance.
This in Chopin is no mean feat and it was enough to see how he linked the end of the Scherzo with the mighty opening of the Largo or how he opened the Finale with a crescendo to the rondo that grew ever more in intensity until it’s final ecstatic explosion and triumphant final declaration.
There was sublime beauty too with the intense simplicity of the first movement second subject or the ravishing nobility of the Largo.
The scintillating jeux perlé of the Scherzo was contrasted with the clarity of line in the trio.
Beethoven’s last Sonata was played with great clarity.The opening three mighty declarations played with such weight only to dissolve into magical vibrations before the startling arrival home to C. There were arresting contrasts between water at boiling point finding refuge in moments of sublime repose.The Arietta was played with a luminosity and simplicity out of which the variations evolved so naturally before exploding into rhythmic turmoil and disintegrating before our very eyes .It wound its way ever more on high in its ethereal journey lost in a magic stream of trills above which the angels had the last word.Beethoven after a tormented life had finally found peace.No ritardando at the end of either movement showed his remarkable intelligence as he followed the great architectural line to its inevitable conclusion.
C.P.E Bach is a well constructed sonata for keyboard by a craftsman but not the genius of his father.It was played with a innocent simplicity.The seeming solo and tutti in the Andantino gave great character to an otherwise rather uninspired work.The rondo had grace and energy and all the character that Cristian was able to portray.A nice interlude between two master works just made us appreciate the genius of Chopin and Beethoven even more.
An encore of une barque sur l’océan from Ravel’s miraculous Miroirs allowed this magnificent piano to illuminate the room with scintillating colour and ravishing virtuosistic washes of sound.
In the whole recital one was aware of the natural way that Cristian could play with such clarity and simplicity.A technical mastery that knows no difficulties but gives him the possibility to conduct like a great maestro with his ten marvellous fingers replacing the magnificence of a full symphony orchestra.It was refreshing to see the way he sat at the piano and the way that his hands,arms and whole body would carve the great curves of sound out of the piano as a master sculptor would create such wonders out of a block of marble.
The next concert on the 14th October is another great young musician Ariel Lanyi who will be playing Beethoven’s mighty Hammerklavier Sonata op.106.
Master musicians playing master works is only to be expected with Dame Imogen Cooper at the helm!