Tuesday 5 October 3.00 pm
Schumann: Kinderszenen Op 15
McLeod: Hebridean Dances
Chopin: 4 Preludes from Op 28
Chopin: Larghetto from Concerto no 2 in F minor Op 21 arr. by the composer
Chopin: Barcarolle Op 60
There were once a series of recitals in the Festival Hall with Polish pianists who would play simply and beautifully with weight and extraordinary legato.I am thinking of Malcuzinski,Niedzielski,Askenase,Smeterlin and the Prince of them all Artur Rubinstein.
Since then we have been astonished by the subtle half lights of the Russian school as personified by the appearance in the 70’s of Richter and all that followed in his footsteps .But it was Richter who so admired Rubinstein for his ‘good old concert cantabile’and with whom he became a very close friend.
It is a style of playing and projecting the sound that is hard to hear in the concert hall these days.Gilels was the only Russian who could project that golden sound with simplicity and beauty.
It is this sound that we were treated to today by Alicja Fiderkiewicz in a recital of such simplicity and beauty that reminded me of the concerts I once heard as a child.
Kinderszenen was played in brilliant sunlight with a radiance and beauty that was touchingly direct.
Even the McLeod Dances could well have been Mazurkas such was the same nationalistic nostalgia and celebration.
Four Preludes by Chopin were played with aristocratic poise with both delicacy and passion.
I had no idea that Chopin had arranged the Larghetto for solo piano .I have heard the one with string quartet but this was every bit as beguiling.
The Barcarolle is Chopin’s absolute masterpiece and together with Beethoven’s fourth concerto the greatest works for piano.
An outpouring of song from beginning to end was given a memorable performance that had Dr Mather cheering from the front row as we were at home.
Performances from the great Polish school of simplicity and aristocratic beauty that was so refreshing to be reminded of.
A memorable recital. Here is the link to the HD version https://youtu.be/gTECy62p6UM
Alicja Fiderkiewicz was born in Warsaw ,Poland and started private piano lessons at the age of six .A year later she entered Special Music School in Warsaw and two years later she was accepted into Central Music School in Moscow attached to Tchaikovsky Conservatoire .There she joined a class of Prof.Kestner and was privileged to play in front of Gilels,Richter,Nikolayeva.After returning to Warsaw six years later she continued her studies with Prof.Losakiewicz and Prof.Drzewiecki and in the next four years she won several national competitions including Chopin Scholarship for four years in succession and gave performances throughout Poland including Zelazowa Wola ,Royal Park,Warsaw Philharmonic Hall . Having graduated from Warsaw Alicja decided to continue her studies at the RNCM in Manchester with Prof.Bakst .During her studies there Alicja represented RNCM in major venues throughout the UK .She was also a winner and prize winner of several National and International Competitions and recipient of Calouste Gulbenkian Fellowship. Throughout her career Alicja appeared with number of major orchestras including Warsaw National Philharmonic,Halle ,La Scala – Milan, Camerata and worked with many world famous conductors.Apart from many engagements in this country Alicja performed in Poland,Russia,Ukraine ,Israel,Italy,Switzerland,Cyprus,Spain,Finland ,USA, Japan,Singapore ,Malaysia .She also appeared on BBC Radio and TV and recorded four highly acclaimed CD’s .Apart from performing Alicja is busy teaching ,giving Masterclasses and adjudicating in the UK and abroad and is frequent member of Piano Faculty and performer during Chethams International Piano Summer School.