Lucas Krupinski and Lovre Marusic ‘On wings of song’ at Steinway Hall

George Soole of Steinways presenting Lovre Marusic and Lucas Krupinski

Lovre Marusic and Lucas Krupinski together at Steinway Hall in London.

Lovre Marusic

Lovre is a top prize winner at the 2021 Cleveland Competition who with his long spindly fingers etched out sounds of crystalline beauty in Mozart’s Sonata in C K 330.A fluidity and luminosity with a kaleidoscope of hidden sounds that brought the apparent simplicity of Mozart’s score vividly to life.Played with great taste but with the originality of a stylist with the inflections and breathing of a singer.Bowed low over the keyboard of this wonderful Steinway D that George Soole had made available to these two remarkable artists in the beautifully refurbished Concert Room.

Beauty and the beast for this wonderful Steinway Concert Grand.A piano that was made to adorn any of the great cavernous concert halls seating thousands,not a room of less than a hundred.It takes a real musician and great mastery to be able to project but not overwhelm a small intimate audience seated at such close proximity.It was a mark of Lovre’s musicianship that he could project the sounds with great purity and fluidity without ever overwhelming his audience seated practically at his elbow.Fou Ts’ong told me once that it was easier to create an intimate atmosphere in a big space than in a small one.Lovre,like Ts’ong loves the music of Mozart so much that it’s simplicity and naturalness are sometimes overwhelmed by a an external element that can interfere with music that Schnabel declared was too easy for children but too difficult for adults.It was a beautiful performance with moments of the real illuminated originality of a stylist.Always played with impeccable good taste and above all genuine humility,love and respect for this little masterpiece.Wonderful fingers where ornaments just sprang from his fingers and glistened like jewels never upsetting the overall music line.There were just a few occasions where his slowing down to point out the sublime beauty bequeathed to us by Mozart disturbed the natural flow that is the very motor force behind his genius.The Andante cantabile was played with simplicity and his fluid natural sounds were transformed into sublime utterings over the heart beating palpitations in the bass – the genius of Mozart revealed with a sensitivity where the coda was shaped to absolute heartrending perfection.The Allegretto missed the courtly charm that I have always associated with it but Lovre obviously saw it in another more brilliant and scintillating light.His well oiled fingers shaping Mozart’s passages with sparkle and wit rather than charm and grace.Lovre also played Schumann’s Arabesque where his fantasy and sensitivity allowed this early gem to glisten and shine as the Rondo melody returned each time more beautifully that the last.Transformed into a commentator after each of the contrasting episodes that interrupt it’s sublime meanderings.The purity and fluidity of his sounds were allowed to vibrate around this room with extraordinary poetic vibrancy as he recreated the coda much as pianists at the end of Liederkreis are entrusted to enter a world where words are not enough.

Lucas Krupinski

Lucas Krupinski who swept the board at the 7th San Marino competition took over the reigns from his colleague and duo partner with a performance of Ravel’s Sonatine and Chopin’s Second Scherzo.

Lucas exhilarating end to Ravel’s Sonatine

Could it have been the same piano as Lucas just seemed to blow on the keys to produce such delicacy and whispered fluidity.Beautiful half lights which invited us to strain to follow him into a magic world of colour and perfumed fragrance.An aquatic sense of forward motion with its continual stream of ever more fluid sounds of ravishing beauty.A pandora’s box opening up that we could perceive within this Ondinesque landscape.Amazing to think that Ravel wrote the first movement of the Sonatine for a competition sponsored by the Weekly Critical Review magazine after being encouraged by a close friend.The competition requirement was the composition of the first movement of a piano sonatina no longer than 75 bars,with the prize being 100 francs. Ravel submitted the piece under a pseudonym and chose an anagram of his name :’par Verla’.There was beauty too in the simple grace and charm of the ‘Menuet’ with the sublime radiance of it’s noble ending.The ‘Animé’ was bathed in pedal as strands of melody are floated on this wave of sounds reaching an exhilarating driven climax.

Chopin,of course ,was Lucas’s birthright and he rose to the challenge with a scintillating performance of the Second Scherzo.Clarity and brilliance went hand in hand with beauty and poetry.Played always with aristocratic good taste but with the flexibility that Chopin likened to the wind in the branches of a tree but with the roots firmly placed in the ground.’Con anima’ Chopin writes in the beautifully mellifluous second subject and it certainly was that in Lucas’s hands with the same subtle beauty that he brought to the central episode.There was clarity and beauty to his ‘jeux perlé’ where streams of notes just flowed so naturally out of the musical line almost unnoticed.On it’s second appearance Chopin brings it to it’s ultimate heroic conclusion.Lucas brought dynamic rhythmic energy and excitement but never forcing the sounds that filled but never overwhelmed this intimate venue.A coda of scintillating transcendental excitement reminded me of Rubinstein’s last performance in 1976 just a stone’s throw from here.The veteran performer had generously offered to give his final public performance to save the Wigmore hall from threatened demolition.He had to stop his performance of this very Scherzo that he had so often regailed audiences with in his eighty year career.The gigantic leaps that Lucas played with such ease today were not in range of Rubinstein’s failing eyesight.Little did Rubinstein imagine that his noble gesture would lead to the rebirth of the Wigmore Hall and that next door fifty years later Bechstein would construct another one on the doorstep of the hall that was confiscated after their defeat in the First World War!

Two supremely gifted musicians and colleagues now joined forces for four hands on one piano.Four feet too that with modern technology made a third party unnecessary as each one of our valiant pianist appeared with his I Pad and personal set of pedals.
I see that the evening was promoted by the Oleg Prokofiev Trust and so it was obvious that a member of the family should be represented.Gabriel Prokofiev was born on 6 January 1975 to an English mother and a Russian father, the artist Oleg Prokofiev,and is the grandson of the composer Sergei Prokofiev. He studied composition at the University of Birmingham and the University of York and became a producer of Dance, Electro, Hip-hop and Grime music and has emerged as a significant voice in new approaches to classical music at the beginning of the 21st century. His Transhuman Etudes for Piano, 4 hands was commissioned by New Muse Piano Duo and the first performance was given by New Muse Piano Duo (Paola Savvidou & Jonathan Kuuskoski) on April 22, 2016, in the Whitmore Recital Hall, University of Missouri, USA.A work full of continuous motion a real perpetuum mobile of simplicity and clarity.It would have been good to hear it again in order to get to grips with it’s knotty twine and engaging musical vocabulary.Again I am reminded of Rubinstein playing in Spain ,Ravel’s Valses Nobles e sentimentale ,when the ink was still wet on the page .Rubinstein was so angry at it’s hostile reception that’s at the end of the concert he played it as an encore!

Lovre and Lucas in duo

A short interesting work played with the same impeccable artistry and musicianship that they brought to Debussy’s Petite Suite .The suite, was composed from 1886 to 1889, and first performed on 2 February 1889 by Debussy and pianist-publisher Jacques Durand at a salon in Paris.It may have been written due to a request (possibly from Durand) for a piece that would be accessible to skilled amateurs, as its simplicity is in stark contrast with the modernist works that Debussy was writing at the time.It is exactly this simplicity and ‘joie de vivre’ that these two colleagues obviously relished after the much more serious menu on today’s programme.Sailing across the keys in an enjoyable boat ride together with its simple flowing mellifluous melody and capricious contrasting central episode.Cortège,though,could have been more leisurely shaped and relished with more rounded phrases and ‘joie de vivre’.The Menuet,on the other hand , was beautifully etched with it’s charming pastoral atmosphere beautifully captured with great style and a perfect harmony between two players who were obviously enjoying it as much as we were.The final Ballet was like a breeze flowing over the keys with it’s very ‘French’ mix of elegance and brilliance.
Brahms’s most famous waltz,known so well to all those that have ever shared a keyboard with a friend,was played with beauty,grace and the artistry that they had both shared so generously with us on this all too short concert of Hausmusik.

Lukasz Krupinski Poetry and Drama The Sphere of Sacrum in Warsaw


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