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Kanazawa-Admony Piano Duo ending its successful octaves alternate with Beethoven at St James’ Piccadilly current season, on this martial episodes and occasion the focus of brilliant brass fanfares eethoven’s Grosse Fuge Op.134, in the interest was on the world premiere of a ‘new’ work by until with a Rachmaninov- ian sweep we arrive at a solo B composer’s own duet version, formed the exciting centrepiece of a stunning London Arnold Bax at the Stratford cadenza section subsiding into debut by the prize-winning Kanazawa-Admony Civic Hall July 3rd 2009. regret and a return to the mood of the Piano Duo, at a well attended St James’ Bax was a complex character with a turb- opening. Church, Piccadilly on 13 July. Presented jointly ulent emotional life. His Concertino for piano Bax’s (and Parlett’s) mastery of orchestration by the Jewish Music Institute, SOAS, and the and orchestra was started in 1939 and intended was even more in evidence in the luscious calm Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, the concert for his muse, the pianist Harriet Cohen, but of the slow movement, the piano again supp- was dedicated with affection to the memory of like many composers he found the prevailing orted on legato strings, ambiguity here too, the BPSE co-founder and Vice-Chairman political tension inhibited his creative abilities with opulent brass chords and woodwind dec- Carola Grindea, a renowned pedagogue and and eventually it was abandoned. The detective orations interrupted by questioning solo piano author, founder of the international organ- story of the work’s restoration is the subject of episodes, a tearing climax leading to a very dramat- isations EPTA and ISSTIP, who passed away a forthcoming documentary and this concert ic silence, and then a meltingly beautiful epilogue. just three days earlier, aged ninety-six. was filmed by Stratford-based media company The finale brought my only reservations. To The feast of four-hand music, played with Honest Injun Films who have been shadowing my ears the unsettling drama of the first two virtuoso panache, was certainly a tribute to OOTS, David Curtis, Bax authority Graham movements was not really dispelled by the gal- Carola Grindea’s lifelong enthusiasm for pian- Parlett and soloist Mark Bebbington through- umphing gait of the last movement. There ists, piano music and the phenomenon of peak out the genesis of the project. seemed to be a mismatch between the forced performance. The young husband and wife So was the 70 years wait worth it? A definite joviality of the material and the sometimes duo, whose recordings include a recent Naxos yes. There is nothing diminutive about this overpowering scoring. CD of Liszt’s Symphonic Poems, are based in Concertino, as Bebbington said, it is ‘a big- The heroic soloist Mark Bebbington and Israel, and launched their programme with the boned, full-length, virtuoso piano concerto.’ conductor David Curtis had great command, UK premiere of a richly coloured Sonata a The brilliance of its writing and ambiv- not only of the muscular demands of the virt- Quattro Mani by one of Israel’s leading alence of its moods make it a striking piece. uoso writing but also of the complex harmonic composers, the octogenarian Yehezkel Braun, After a dreamlike opening with muted strings directions of the piece. A recording on Somm who was present to receive the audience’s warm and bassoon underpinning the piano, sinister records is planned for September and this is applause. The Sonata, imbued with overtones Kastchei-like undercurrents creep in and definitely a work to hear again. of Debussy and Prokofiev, shares affinities with violence is never far away. Scintillating piano John Gough the impressionism of its dedicatee, Braun’s Mahler 5 by 4 was admirably partnered by Khac Uyen, a this performance but were hearing it ‘blind’, young Vietnamese-Chinese-Norwegian con- as it were, on a record, the underlying t is to be doubted whether a publ
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