Ronan O’Hora at Razumovsky Academy Simple Grand Beethoven

Three Beethoven Sonatas played with fearless energy and intelligence by Ronan O’Hora on Fou Ts’ong’s piano that has found such a warm and welcoming home at Oleg Kogan’s Razumovsky Academy.
From the first notes of Beethoven’s early Sonata op 2 n. 3 it was obvious that this was no play safe Beethoven as the driving rhythms swept us along on a wave of energy that left no time for sentimentality.Instead there was such strength even in the luminosity of the more lyrical passages contrasting with the explosions of contrasting dynamic energy.Even the Pastoral Sonata had sinister undertones that as Ronan pointed out was written when Beethoven was contemplating suicide.
These were performances of someone who has really understood the turbulent character of Beethoven,the same double character that drove Schumann into an asylum.It was with scrupulous attention to Beethoven’s markings that Ronan brought these three sonatas vividly to life.Such was the tension created by the headlong turbulence and dramatic energy of the Appassionata that the only outlet was the sumptuous outpourings of Wagner’s Liebestod in the arrangement by Liszt played as an encore .The relentless build up of tension was only released by the magical final chords.The minutes of total silence at the end was of an audience totally bewitched by Fou Ts’ong’s magnificent piano in the hands once more of a master musician.

Fou Ts’ong’s magnificent Steinway D
The beautifully warm wooden interior made with loving care by Oleg’s own hands
Oleg Kogan ,the distinguished cellist
The hall built by Oleg with his own hands
Mihai Ritivoiu recording technician for his friends and colleagues from his Alma Mater of the Guildhall where he graduated from the class of Joan Havill

A concert dedicated to Fou Ts’ong just a few days after his death .Roberto Prosedda studied with Ts’ong in Masterclasses in the Ghione theatre in Rome where Ts’ong played every year .He also studied with him at the International Piano Academy in Como – he is preparing a biography of Fou Ts’ong with the help of his student and the Chinese authorities in China

Ronan O ‘Hora with his wife who told me of Ronan’s lock down project of learning the 32 Beethoven Sonatas that he will be presenting in a complete cycle shortly

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