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HomeTheatreA panoply of pleasures with András Schiff in Los Angeles – Seen...

A panoply of pleasures with András Schiff in Los Angeles – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United States Numerous: Sir Andras Schiff (piano). Walt Disney Live performance Corridor, Los Angeles, 11.10.2022. (DLD)

Andras Schiff © Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliation

BachGoldberg Variations, BWV988, Aria; Italian Concerto in F Main, BWV971; Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor, BWV903
Haydn – Piano Sonata No.33 in C minor, Hob.XVI/20
Beethoven – Piano Sonata No.17 in D Minor, ‘Tempest’
Mozart – Rondo in A minor, K511
Schubert – Piano Sonata No.20 in A significant, D959

Sir András Schiff has lengthy been praised as one of the vital completed pianists and conductors on this planet of ‘artwork music’. He arrived on the Walt Disney Live performance Corridor with yet one more rigorously curated physique of keyboard works that included items by Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert.

Schiff started this system with one in all J. S. Bach’s most admired solo keyboard compositions: the Aria from what Schiff dryly known as ‘the so-called Goldberg Variations’. After the Aria, he took to the microphone and spoke to the viewers, which actually differs from previous performances that I’ve attended. He defined that there could be no encore as a result of the ultimate piece on this system, Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A Main, ought to not have an encore – all that must be stated has already been stated.

There have been some extremely memorable moments in Schiff’s commentary to the viewers. At one level he requested, ‘What’s the way forward for classical music? There are too many rituals linked to classical music’. He had bored with having to provide you with a program three years forward of a efficiency, which regularly leads audiences to ‘over-familiarize themselves with a single “finest” recording of these items upfront’, creating disappointment and diminishing returns for all concerned. Through the pandemic, he had time to assume how he would possibly do issues in a different way, equivalent to deciding on a program nearer to the time of the efficiency.

Following the Aria was Bach’s Italian Concerto in F Main, one other lovely instance of the strategy of composition. It’s a three-movement marvel, starting with a balanced melody introduced in a fashion that was settled and simple, adopted by a second motion with a repeated baseline and augmented with a tensely pushed melody, and a last motion full of good tidings and pleasure. The efficiency was exceedingly pianistic, the readability marvelous and the applause significantly deserved. It needs to be added that his third motion differed from all different variations I’ve heard (and that’s quite a bit) by way of each tempo (a tad slower) and dynamics (a spot softer). It must also be famous that stability between the higher and decrease elements was modified by pianistic prospects and calls for. Voicing is of nice significance to Schiff, particularly when main voices happen in interior voices: it’s the bass line that drives the composition.

The Italian Concerto was adopted by Haydn’s Piano Sonata No.33 in C minor. Earlier than enjoying, Schiff commented that Haydn is essentially the most ‘underrated composer on this planet’. Credited with sixty-two piano sonatas in his lengthy and fruitful profession, Haydn is sometimes called the ‘inventor’ of the sonata-allegro kind. To my ears, his works are superb units of stability, inside measures, inside phrases, inside actions and, certainly, throughout the entirety of the piece. The stability was clear on this sonata, one which I had not heard earlier than. I’d unquestionably take pleasure in listening to and analyzing it much more rigorously had been it not for the remaining sixty-one sonatas that compete for my consideration. That being stated, Haydn’s Sonata No.33 was an absolute pleasure: Schiff’s interpretation was practically good in its stability, open in its expression, comparatively flawless on a technical stage and deeply human in its interpretation.

Schiff returned to Bach for the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, a piece of nice energy and emotion, and open to quite a lot of interpretations. The transition from the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue to Beethoven’s ‘Tempest’ Sonata was seamless: Schiff sustained the ultimate tone, solely to simply shift straight into the ‘Tempest’ with no break between the 2 items, no applause, simply silence. It labored fantastically, and he made it sound really easy.

When Anton Schindler, who was in some ways Beethoven’s closest aide, requested Beethoven who his musical rival was, he received the reply ‘There may be none’. It’s a beautiful reply, if just for its a number of attainable meanings. Does Beethoven brazenly settle for different composers at sound worth, or does he reject different composers for variations in chord constructions? A lot – and generally all – of the excellence of music is tied to the ear of the listener.

The ‘Tempest’ Sonata appears to transcend subjectivities solely, and it belongs in an elite group of ‘there’s nothing higher’. It’s a nice piece of music it doesn’t matter what the opinion of the previous, present or future listener. Schiff’s extra leisurely tempo, particularly within the fourth motion, introduced up new and totally different factors of aural interpretation.

Following a short intermission, Mozart’s Rondo K511, a singular expertise, opened the second half of this system. It consists of 1 motion that lasts nicely underneath ten minutes, it lacks complexity and the melody (‘tune’, in case you choose) is straightforward and simple. There’s a main key break in the direction of the center of the rondo, which strikes again to the minor key once more, solely to shut with a comparatively temporary round-up. In Schiff’s introduction, he defined his fondness for it: it reminds him of ‘one thing from the Romantic period’, virtually as if it was forward of the time in its phrasing and melodic construction. The delicacy with which Schiff carried out the piece introduced out these qualities and, at occasions, made the Mozart sound evocative of Chopin’s keyboard work. That is becoming, as Schiff additionally famous that Chopin was a fantastic lover of Mozart.

Schiff ended the recital with Schubert’s Piano Sonata No.20, which is full of surprises. His melodies are universally acclaimed for his or her magnificence and perfection, and he usually makes use of shocking and sudden adjustments in key and tempo, with surprising time alterations and pauses in pulse, and sudden adjustments to and from differing keys. Schiff described the opening of the Andantino as being ‘just like the rowing of a ship on a lake’ however with overtones of existential despair as a substitute of pastoral tranquility. His enjoying was measured and emotionally uncooked, with darker passages of the Andantino and Scherzo in sharp distinction with the fragile ones that encompass them. It was one of the vital shifting musical experiences I’ve had in a very long time.

Schiff actually possesses his personal distinctive method of enjoying and performing. The bodily stamina required for this demanding program appeared to not faze him: he performed with a lightness, precision and ease one would possibly anticipate from a a lot youthful pianist. What got here by means of was the pure pleasure that music provides him. We had been the fortunate recipients!

Douglas Dutton

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