Thomas Kelly plays Beethoven 4 at the RCM cat and mouse with Sakari Oramo

Fascinating to see the woodwinds in a circle behind the piano with the strings behind .I know Andras Schiff does that with Bartok 2 but what a genial idea for Beethoven 4 where there is so much dialogue between wind and piano.

And dialogue there truly was with a crystalline account by Thomas Kelly who is evolving by the minute and becoming one of the most exciting talents of his generation ………..there seems to be no limit to his talent that is taking him in directions that not even he is aware of.A true voyage of discovery every time he sits in front of that black box that he obviously loves so much.
I had heard him five years ago on this very stage play Schumann Carnaval in the Joan Chissell Competition.He was head and shoulders above his colleagues for the kaleidoscopic range and the richness of sound that never became hard or ungracious but grew in luminosity and sumptuous beauty.
I am reminded very much of the Scaramuzza school with the seemingly rubber limbs of an Argerich or Gelber.
A superb collaboration with a genial Sakari Oramo who was obviously enjoying allowing these super talented young musicians to listen to each other and be free as they were at one with one another.Such wonderful sounds from Thomas in the slow movement but why interrupt the precise pulse that the conductor has set up with a vision of Hades which is only answered by the beseeching plea of the piano.It is as though Thomas does not feel the pulse in the bottom of his heels and his rather bolt upright stance at the keyboard (reminiscent of Rachmaninov according to Perlemuter ) does not permit the cat and mouse anticipation of an animal ready to pounce.Of course Thomas is listening with great sensitivity to the sounds he is making but sometimes these sounds have to be incorporated into a whole – chamber music is where it is absolutely fundamental.
I was one of the four people present to hear this young star a few weeks ago on this same stage …….tonight I could not find a seat and was reduced to watching the superb streaming at home ………word is obviously spreading like wildfire that there is someone special to watch at the RCM these days .

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