Tuesday 15 February 3.00 pm
Mozart: Piano sonata in A minor K310
Allegro / Andante / Presto
Debussy: Clair de Lune and Passepied from Suite Bergamasque
Beethoven: Piano sonata in C minor Op 111
Maestoso-Allegro / Arietta
Luminosity and musicianship went hand in hand today as Ke Ma’s limpet like fingers delved deeply into each key extracting sounds of gold on her musicianly journey with Mozart,Debussy and Beethoven.
Reminiscent of the all too often overlooked Gina Bachauer who could center each note with compelling authority and beauty as her superb sense of style and musicianship allowed a journey of indisputable nobility and directness.
A Mozart one of only two sonata in the minor key.The A minor K 310 written at the time of his mothers death was given a performance of a richness of sound of flowing beauty of almost operatic proportions.The development could have been almost improvised in its controlled freedom of expression.The Andante was indeed ‘cantabile con espressione’ beautifully phrased.The dark waters of the middle episode were played with controlled drama before the return to the beautiful opening.One of Mozart’s most poignant utterings and a wonderful tribute to his mother
The whispered gasps of the Presto were played with absolute clarity and rhythmic energy.The magic change to the major key never upset the unrelenting forward movement but just covered it in gold dust as only Mozart or indeed Schubert could do.
Claire de lune was very slow but with such a subtle sense of balance and clarity that there was magic in the air as she just touched the bass notes which allowed the chords to vibrate on high before the etherial final glimpse of this beautiful landscape.
Passapied was played with driving energy of jeux perlé reams of notes that gave such sofistication to such a simple popular melodic line.
Beethoven’s last Sonata op 111 the second time we have heard this in Perivale this week (Cristian Sandrin played the trilogy last week https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2022/02/03/cristian-sandrin-the-beethoven-trilogy-birth-of-a-great-artist/).It was given by Ke Ma today a performance of aristocratic nobility and simplicity.
The velvet radiance of her sound allowed us to follow the great architectural lines with directness and simplicity.Her intellectual understanding and superb musicianship took us on a journey from the nobility of the opening to the turbulence and anguished radiance of the recitativi on to the sublime beauty at the end of the Arietta.
Rarely have I heard the wonderland of sounds that Beethoven creates played with such beauty and simplicity.Trills and shared melodic notes combined in a knotty twine of transcendental difficulty but in Ke Ma’s hands shone through with a simplicity and radiance that was obviously the magic world that only Beethoven could contemplate in his private world and miraculously bequeathed to us few mortals that can find the key to his private paradise.
As it was afternoon and a pretty dismal one at that Ke Ma decided she would let her hair down and treat us to her own arrangement of a pop song.Scintillating jazz sounds rocketed around the little church in an extraordinary change of key for such a serious young artist.
From the sublime to the ridiculous as she brought the house down receiving a well deserved ovation for her brilliant audacity and astonishing virtuosity
Born in 1994 in China, Ke studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, graduating with a Masters with distinction (DipRAM) in 2017. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral study at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has won top prizes at international competitions including 1st Prize at the 2016 Concours International de la vie de Maisons-Laffitte and Karoly Mocsari Special Prize (France), 1st Prize at the 2014 Shenzhen Competition (China) and 3rd Prize at the 2012 Ettlingen Competition (Germany. In 2017 Ke made her debut at Wigmore Hall under the auspices of the Kirckman Concert Society. She has given concerts across the UK, in France, Germany, Poland, the US and Canada. Recent engagements include recitals at the Purcell Room, Kings Place, the Saintonge Festival, Maison Laffitte and Salle Molière Lyon in France and the Chopin Festival at the Fisher Center in Bard College, New York.A committed chamber musician, Ke has undertaken a Tunnell Trust Award tour of Scotland, given a recital at Wigmore Hall and recorded music by Vieuxtemps for Champs Hill Records with violist Timothy Ridout. She has collaborated with the Cuarteto Casals at Santander International Piano Competition. Last summer Ke made her first appearance in Winchester Festival this summer. Ke is grateful for support from the Ian Fleming Award from Help Musicians UK; prizes from the Worshipful Company of Musicians, the Maisie Lewis Young Artist Fund and the Prince’s Award. She recently performed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 under the baton of Adrian Leaper at the Barbican Hall, as one of the finalists at the Gold Medal competition at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.