Bax: Concertino for Piano - world premiere by ProQuest


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									          Shwan Sebastian

ingsswank aus Wien ‘a                                                              Paganini Duo            ances was truly exceptional. Such was the
great romantic sonata’                                                                                     artistry of these players, and their superbly
though it is hardly that                                                           enewed thanks are       chamber-musical collaborative intuition, that
and Schumann’s other
description of it as ‘ein rom-
                                                                              R     due to the Embassy
                                                                            of Ecuador and the Latin
                                                                                                           they truly impressed the audience throughout.
                                                                                                               In particular, their accounts of Paganini’s
antisches Schaustück’ is nearer                                          American and Caribbean Cul-       Sonata for violin and guitar and the Toccata
the mark. Every figuration and                                       tural Society for their joint pres-   and Aria by the Lebanese composer Houtaf
texture is uniformly characteristic of the                    entation of a remarkable concert at the      Khoury (written for the Duo and receiving its
composer yet although there was no denying             Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room on June 29,         London premiere), made a very strong imp-
the ongoing sense of coherence in Costa’s              featuring the Paganini Duo, comprising two          ression. Solo guitar pieces played by Julio
performance, his touch was often heavy, his            very gifted musicians from Ecuador. The             Almeida – de Falla, Garoto and Piazzolla –
rhythmic pulse stiff.                                  concert commemorated the bicentenary of the         demonstrated this gifted musician’s ability to
    Moments later the situation could not have         gaining of the country’s independence on            draw a wide range of tone-colour and genuine
been more different in Chopin’s Sonata Op.58.          August 10, 1809.                                    characterisation from his instrument. In the
Throughout, though especially in the Allegro               The players – Jorge Saade-Scaff violin, and     second half, Diego Luzuriaga’s Suite on
maestoso, there was a beautiful reconciliation of      Julio Almeida guitar, jointly and severally         rhythms and places in Ecuador proved a
romantic turbulence with classical order. In the       brought a wide range of music, but the greatest     brilliantly successful piece and the concluding
Largo as well, although the music was const-           interest was centred upon music by Ecuadorian       item, Enrique Espín Yépez’ Pasional, inspired
antly on the move, it was pervaded by a deep           and Middle-Eastern composers, including             by Vieuxtemps’ Fifth Violin Concerto, proved a
calm. Likewise the finale was exultant and elev-       works specially written for and dedicated to        most winning conclusion to a fascinating and
ated, the whole interpretation seeming the fruit       these musicians.                                    eminently worthwhile evening.
of long consideration, of many earlier readings.           The programme’s title From Paganini to the      Robert Matthew-Walker
    There was no doubt of the purity of intent-        Andes suggested a veritable kaleidos-
ion of Costa’s account of the Suite bergamasque        cope of varied pieces, and we                                      Bax: Concertino for Piano
yet with its Minuet, Passepied etc it is an early      were not disappointed. With                                              – world premiere
example of neo-clasicism and not top-drawer            original pieces and trans-
Debussy. The exception is Clair de lune, an            criptions by such estab-                                                        ne of the many
almost magical thrust into the future, into some
of the territory the mature composer would
                                                       lished European masters
                                                       as Massenet, Paganini,
                                                                                                                                 O     pleasures of the
                                                                                                                                 Orchestra of the Swan’s
dominate. Like the other movements, it was             Vieuxtemps and de Falla                                                   programmes is its
very decently played. Finally came Turina’s            set alongside quite un-                                                   commitment to new
Danzas fantasticas, irreproachably made in the         familiar but none the less                                               repertoire, but although
style of Albéniz. Granados and others yet by a         most welcome music by                                                  this was ostensibly a ‘Last
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