Francois-Frédéric Guy ignites the soul of Fou Ts’ong’s piano at the Razumovsky Academy.

Some sublime playing where Oleg’s ‘cello resonated with such depth and weight with the wooden floor made with his own hands allowing a deep mellow sound of great beauty.Francois-Frédéric’s passionate response from Ts’ong’s piano with it’s deep luscious bass and brilliant upper register.It brought Fauré’s Elégie to a tumultuous climax and the barely whispered confessions in it’s wake were of deeply felt emotion.I much look forward to a repeat of their Beethoven op 102.n.2 that I had missed at their Wigmore Hall recital some time ago.

Fauré Élégie for cello and piano (with Oleg Kogan – cello)

Debussy with Chopin were very much the world that Ts’ong inhabited.It is interesting to note that Debussy edited the complete works of Chopin.I remember in his many masterclasses in Rome where Ts’ong likened the similarity between the same soul that inhabited Cinese poetry and their music.Francois-Frédéric brought great clarity to these four Préludes that he had chosen from the works of Debussy that he had studied with Ts’ong at the Piano Academy in Como and also at Ts’ong’s house in Aberdeen Road in London.Brouillards slightly missed the mystery as he obviously was still reminding himself of the piano that he used to study on at his mentor’s house.La Puerta Del Vino found him completely at home with it’s rhythmic drive and it’s frenzied Habanera dance.La terrasse was played with great atmosphere and clarity building to a remarkable climax that was to die away to a mere whisper of gently chiselled sounds.Feux d’artefice was played with extraordinary control and transcendental command.A kaleidoscope of colours starting with a mere whisper and building to enthralling pyrotechnics as the excitement rose but dying to a mere murmur as the Marseillaise is heard in the distance

Debussy 4 Préludes from Book 2 Brouillards-La Puerta del Vino-La terrasse des audiences du Clair de lune-Feux d’artefice

Chopin Polonaise Fantaisie op.61

Chopin of course was the world that Ts’ong understood so well and had surprised everyone at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw when a young Chinese pianist ran off with the coveted ‘Mazurka’ award that was thought to belong to the natives of Poland!Thus began a life long love affair with Chopin that Ts’ong imparted with such inspiration to the many young musicians he mentored in his long life.Francois-Frédéric was one of the original students at the Como Academy and was greatly inspired by Ts’ong as we could appreciate tonight from the opening of the Polonaise Fantasie – one of Chopin’s greatest works that was written late in life and is more Fantasie than Polonaise.The opening is a great wave of sounds that expand over the entire keyboard from the opening declamatory chords.They were played exactly as I remember Ts’ong playing them with one long beautiful horizontal movement like the opening of a great wave of sound.There was great beauty but never of a sentimental nature but of the aristocratic poetic soul that Ts’ong understood so well.It was the same with the great B minor sonata played with architectural shape with the second subject so often played as a nocturne but in Francois-Frédéric’s hands it was played with such forward movement that moments of great delicacy were even more breathtakingly beautiful.

The appearance of the second subject in the recapitulation was played as a passionate outpouring of all that had gone before.The second movement was played with jeux perlé brilliance and an interesting swop over of hands that I forgot to ask if that was Ts’ong’s fingering of a rather tricky passage.Leading of course straight into the mighty opening chords of the Largo where he brought great strength and shape to this most beautiful of movements.The finale was a tour de force of brilliance and resilience with the return of the rondo theme ever more passionate until the final explosion and transcendental excitement of the final pages.
The original manuscript 2nd subject of the recapitulation

Chopin Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op.58 Allegro Maestoso – Scherzo:Molto vivace-Largo-Finale:Presto non tanto

Oleg Kogan seated at the much loved piano

The stars were shining brightly for Fou Ts’ong at the Razumovsky Academy.
A recital on Ts’ongs beautiful Steinway D piano by Francois-Frédéric Guy.

A piano that now sits proudly in Oleg Kogan’s much loved Academy that he built with his own hands.Every brick and stone not to mention the abundance of wood was put in place by Oleg.

The Razumovsky Academy audience

It was the same love and passion that he gave to the Fauré Elégie that they wanted to dedicate to all those suffering from the senseless rape of the Ukraine by a self centred despot .

What a marvel to hear the Chopin nocturne op posth at the end of a memorable recital played with such simplicity and beauty -Ts’ong was truly with us tonight. I well remember the many times that Ts’ong would end his recitals in Rome with his favourite nocturne,he even wrote in my score the various differences from the original markings of Chopin.

Wonderful to hear Francois Frédéric talk about the concerts in Le Roque d’Antheron in 2003 of Ts’ong and his great friend Radu Lupu and to hear that the public was reduced to tears by the sublime beauty of their playing.
Dedicating the concert to his great friend Nicholas Angelich who had passed away at only 51,on the same day as Radu Lupu,and who had been best man at his wedding .

Dinara Klinton reunited with her mother.

What a joy at the end to see Dinara Klinton united with her mother who had managed to
flee from the senseless persecution of all Ukrainians in Russia.

Anne-Marie and Francois-Frédéric Guy with Patsy Fou

Lovely to see Patsy Fou with us and her husband’s piano brought to life with such love and was again sharing with us the soul that Ts’ong had bequeathed to it.

François-Frédéric Guy is widely regarded first and foremost as an outstanding interpreter of the German Romantics and their forebears. His unrivalled ability to create musical structure in sound is especially evident in his interpretations of Beethoven, which bring to life his profound and ongoing dialogue with the composer.The pianist has a special affinity for the music of Bartók, Brahms, Liszt, and Prokofiev, as well as a strong commitment to contemporary music. He has close ties to composers including Ivan Fedele, Marc Monnet, Gérard Pesson, Bruno Mantovani, and Hugues Dufourt. François-Frédéric Guy has also given the premiere of works such as Mantovani’s Double Concerto (2012), which he performed with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2013 he gave the South Korean premiere of Tristan Murail’s Le Désenchantement du monde with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Based on this fruitful collaboration, he will premiere another new piano concerto by Tristan Murail with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo in June 2021.

The Guy’s in discussion with Patsy Toh-Fou

In the current season, François-Frédéric Guy will continue his dialogue with the music of Beethoven while also giving appearances in the dual role of soloist and conductor. His acclaimed performances of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, already performed in Tokyo, Washington, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Monte Carlo, Norwich, Metz, and Buenos Aires, will take him this season to Seoul.Conducting from the piano, François-Frédéric Guy works frequently with the Sinfonia Varsovia. From 2017 to 2020, he was artist of residence with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris with a special focus on the Beethoven repertoire. In the dual role of soloist and conductor, François-Frédéric Guy is also regularly performing works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Brahms, as well as, most recently, the world premiere of the piano concerto Écoumène by Aurélien Dumont, which was composed especially for him. His orchestral partners further include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Liege, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife or the National Orchestra of Pays de la Loire.As a Beethoven specialist François-Frédéric Guy will also continue to focus on chamber music and solo works of the great composer: at the end of the summer, Radio France presented the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas from the Maison de la Radio Paris in live streams, where young French pianists performed their interpretations in eight recitals under the auspices of Guy. At the Festival International de Piano de La Roque d’Anthéron he also performed in the prominent cycle alongside colleagues such as Nicholas Angelich and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. After interpreting the complete violin sonata cycle with his long-time duo partner Tedi Papavrami at the start of the season at the Piano à Lyon concert series, the two musicians will perform the complete Beethoven trios together with Xavier Phillips on the cello in the Arsenal de Metz.The pianist has been a guest of orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich. He has collaborated with world-famous conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kazushi Ono, Marc Albrecht, Philippe Jordan, Daniel Harding, Neeme Järvi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gustavo Gimeno, Michael Sanderling, and Kent Nagano. In recital he has performed at the major concert halls in cities such as London, Milan, Berlin, Munich, Moscow, Paris, Vienna, and Washington, and at festivals including the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Beethovenfest Bonn, Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, and the Cheltenham Festival.At the heart of his discography is the complete recording of Beethoven’s sonatas, released in 2013 on the Zig-Zag Territoires label, which had already released his highly acclaimed Liszt album, Harmonies poétiques et religieuses. The complete recording of Beethoven’s piano concertos with the Sinfonia Varsovia under François-Frédéric Guy’s direction was released to mark the start of the ‘Beethoven Year’ 2020. Together with his chamber music partners Xavier Phillips and Tedi Papavrami, he also released highly acclaimed recordings of Beethoven’s cello and violin sonatas, and in 2017 presented his new Brahms album with the three piano sonatas.

Oleg Kogan with Patsy Fou

Francois-Frédéric Guy with Patsy Fou

Fou Ts’ong


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