Jun Lin Wu upstages Elton John in the shadow of Elgar

Jun Lin Wu may have complained of an early start today but Elton John’s piano certainly had no complaints.
In the hands of this young Chinese pianist it was seduced ravished and conquered as rarely it can ever have imagined in its most wildest history.
A world of such sublime beauty and demonic energy combined with such an aristocratic sense of style and irresistible sense of rubato.
Bar lines did not exist as there was a sense of recreation with sounds that seemed so refreshingly spontaneous with a technical mastery that knew no limits.

A very spacious opening to Chopin’s late masterpiece op 61 Polonaise Fantasie that was exactly that.An opening of such spaciousness and subtle colour with a gradual build up to the sumptuous passionate final climax.
The gentle opening arpeggios of Chopin were immediately answered by the savage animal attack of Scriabin’s opening of his 5th Sonata.Instantly dissolving into a magic world of mystery and kaleidoscopic colours.A luminosity of sound that gently penetrated the multicoloured world it inhabited and was played with a clarity and quite remarkable sense of balance.
Interspersed with demonic bursts of energy as it led so unrelentingly to the final glorious star of Scriabin’s unique magic world .
It is one of the marvels of the world how the Chinese soul mirrors that of Chopin.
It is the same heart that throbs with nostalgia and an irrepressible sense of rhythm that is inborn.It was infact Fou Ts’ong who astonished the public in the Warsaw competition all those years ago playing the mazurkas as we had only thought possible from Chopins compatriots.
Such sense of aristocratic charm and heartfelt nostalgia interspersed with infectious rhythmic elan that sounded so sincere and natural. Something so in born that it cannot be taught or added as it comes from within.This fresh faced looking young man certainly has a soul of a quite extraordinary poetic depth.

Agosti’s famous Firebird was unleashed on an unexpecting public with a demonic energy that was quite breathtaking.
This has long been one of the most challenging of all transcriptions even out doing Stravinsky’s own Petrouschka that the composer dedicated to his friend Artur Rubinstein to try to appease the Ragtime that Rubinstein had commissioned from his friend but refused to play as Stravinsky was intent on demonstrating that the piano could not sing but was purely percussive.
This transcription written in 1928 by Agosti who was to live until the ‘80’s and where every summer the musical world would frequent his studio in Siena where sounds never to be forgotten were to be cherished.

Lydia and Guido Agosti with my wife Ileana Ghione in the Teatro Ghione in Rome

Agosti had abandoned the concert stage very early to dedicated himself with religious zealousness to the masterworks that his teacher Busoni had shared with him in his youth.
After such a frantic attack of the Firebird the sun suddenly appeared in a magical cloud of sounds that led to the final triumph of the Firebird.
Jun Lin Wu had no need to ask if his audience would like more.
Cordoba by Albeniz was his thank you farewell of sultry sounds and rhythms played as to the manner born in a masterly performance that I expect his mentor Dmitri Alexeev had imparted to him.
The same mastery that Alexeev one of the greatest pianist of our day generously shares with a select few at the Royal College of Music just a few steps away from the Albert Hall


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