Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Appassionata, Improvisation, Classical, Contemporary Piano

One can only be astounded at the technical and emotional brilliance of listening to and watching two international pianists perform at the Nouveau Theatre in Chatellerault.

An English Suite no.3 in G minor by JS Bach creates awe as Akiko Ebi's fingers re-create sounds centuries old on the new Steinway on stage. However, imagine the sound on harpsichord as the powerful piano sound of today was non-existent in 1715 for these dances!
Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata no.23 in F minor opus 57, reminded me that it was a very long time ago that I could once play snippets of this challenging composition albeit never with such accomplishment! Oh, such magic in her fingertips. Oh, how I wish that I had practised more! It is tempestuous and was written when Beethoven was beginning to go deaf in about 1803 - 1806. Then Akiko played two other pieces which were not on the programme. (Note to myself to find out what they were!)

After the interval, the piano having been tuned, Jay Gottlieb altered the mood with Gershwin's Suite from Porgy and Bess. Then he played Keith Jarrett's Köln Concert Part 1, which has evidently only recently been transcribed to notation. This jazz music was transcendental with beautiful ostinati (repeated phrases, melodies, or chords) and ladled with consonance and dissonance. So sonorous. So technically difficult! When I closed my eyes I saw two shades of bright turquoise with two shades of purple. Then... as if there could be a "then" after hearing harmony and disharmony ... we headed into Hindemith, Aaron Copland and other twentieth century composers. The penultimate piece Techno Etude no.2 by Karen Tanaka captured my soul as I imagined a funeral pyre sailing in the ocean, far out on the seas. It was meditational. No one clapped inbetween these pieces so it was heavenly!

What a wonderful evening! And what joy to go out, dressed in black with my red silk jacket not worn for years, accessorised with ear-rings and a necklace, a splash of perfume and able to wear small-heeled shoes because the right foot bunion is removed. Mmm... woman!

Also, thank goodness that "the very nice car breakdown man" arrived to start the car engine, because Sweetpea had the previous day, left the internal light on and this drains the battery ... and Captain Sensible had not charged the charger to charge the car battery! We need a new set of jump leads!

With "beaucoup remerciements" to my piano teacher, Laurie Clément and her husband Yves, and to all "The Association of the Friends of Laurie Clément" for organising and establishing what appears will be an annual concert.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was indeed brilliant