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Marc-André Hamelin proves an excellent champion of Reger’s Piano Concerto in Berlin – Seen and Heard Worldwide


Germany Reger, Schumann: Marc-André Hamelin (pianist), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Marek Janowski (conductor), Livestreamed on Digital Live performance Corridor from the Philharmonie Berlin, 24.9.2022. (GT)

Marc-André Hamelin

Reger – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in F minor, Op.114

Schumann – Symphony No.3 in E flat main, Op.97 ‘Rhenish’

To carry out some of the uncared for German piano concertos just some weeks after the Busoni Piano Concerto exhibits how subtle the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are. At different venues, it might need frightened their audiences, however right here in Germany’s capital the audiences are as eager to listen to unfamiliar music as wherever. Max Reger (1873-1916) was born a yr earlier than Schoenberg, and greater than some other German composer wrote in a mode just like the founding father of atonalism – but by no means fairly embraced Schoenberg’s musical language. The latter expounded that Reger was a genius, whereas Reger himself wrote of himself: ’I can say with good conscience that of all residing composers I’m in all probability the one who’s closest in contact with the nice masters of our wealthy previous.’

Courting from 1910, the Piano Concerto was premiered by Frieda Kwast-Hodapp at Leipzig earlier than the yr was out, and one critic wrote it’s the ‘newest miscarriage of the Reger muse.’ To today, whatever the composer’s hopes, the Piano Concerto is never carried out, but, in each era there seems a pianist who’s technically outfitted and impressed to turn out to be the concerto’s proselytiser. Up to now, Rudolf Serkin was an excellent interpreter – at present the Canadian virtuoso Marc-André Hamelin champions the Reger concerto each within the studio and live performance corridor.

The concerto opened (Allegro moderato) on the timpani and brass with a propitiously assured theme. It was instantly evident that Reger’s luxurious orchestration is embraced in a refined chromatic concord with swirling string sounds interspersed with the weighty chordal climaxes of the piano. The soloist unleashed a cascade of elaborate voicings towards the rising swooning melodies that steadily melded collectively and closed the prolonged first motion.

The gradual motion (Largo) started with the Canadian producing some fantastically intimate harmonies utilizing the complete vary of the keyboard. It was charming to listen to Hamelin’s beautiful tonal palette as there emerged contributions from the flute of Emmanuel Pahud and the oboe of Albrecht Mayer, whereas there developed exchanges of concepts with a devastatingly melancholy one bringing the motion to a detailed.

The Allegro con spirito motion opened on the piano with an infectiously playful concept that expanded because the orchestra grasped the humorous but virtually infantile musical concepts. Hamelin’s buoyant keyboard theme enthused the orchestra resulting in a blinding finale. As an encore, Hamelin performed Robert Schumann’s Humoreske, Op.20, No.1 – a brilliantly enthralling and riotous piece making enjoyable of musical conference.

Marek Janowski © Frederike van der Straeten

The primary motion (Lebhaft) of Schumann’s ‘Rhenish’ Symphony’s started with the opening theme heralding an excellent melody embroidered by the oboe of Mayer, and the flute of Pahud. The secondary thought was expanded with magnificent enjoying from the brass and strings, and after the reprise of the primary theme, there emerged a splendid fff climax. Marek Janowski’s conducting is within the old-style and method together with his very right actions – by no means exaggerated or exhibitionist – and a confirmed masterly conductor of the Austrian-German college. The Scherzo opened on the low strings with the concept heard on the bassoon of Daniele Damiano, Pahud’s flute, and Mayer’s oboe, after which by the violins with fantastic harmonies from the horns! The Ländler had been marvellously expressed, and within the center part, there was a considerably melancholy passage of nostalgic magnificence from the woodwind.

The third motion (Nicht schnell) opened on the clarinet of Wenzel Fuchs and Damiano on the bassoon in a passage of excellent woodwind interaction, whereas within the fourth motion (Feierlich), the trombones and horns introduced a noble theme, accompanied by the woodwind and strings earlier than closing with a brass chorale of revered concord. The finale (Lebhaft) opened on a joyful, blissful thought expressed by splendid string enjoying, and most triumphantly with a brass chorale culminating victoriously and in celebratory temper. This was a exceptional live performance led by a conductor who’s a grasp of the Romantic repertoire and a famous interpreter of the much less acquainted pathways of contemporary music.

Gregor Tassie

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