Tasmin Little, Piers Lane: Brahms “a seamless flow of intense, controlled emotion”, Review in The Strad May 2018


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Raphael Wallfisch/John York – wonderful review of their April 2018 recital in Painswick

14:04:18 A Concert of Music for Cello and Piano.
The second of Painswick Music Society’s season of concerts featured the prestigious Duo of Raphael Wallfisch (cello) and John York (piano). Their deep musical insights and immaculate playing delighted a capacity audience at St. Mary’s Church.
In order to achieve a balanced sound, it is usual for grand piano lids to be only partially opened when stringed instruments are being accompanied. So, arriving at the church to see the gaping Steinway, with lid fully raised, left one wondering if the sound of the cello might be swallowed up. Worries were groundless: from the first chord of the Beethoven Variations it was apparent that Raphael Wallfisch had tone ‘to burn’. In his masterly hands, the cello throbbed and sang as he projected a gloriously rich sonority which reached every part of the church.
The two artists have performed together for over thirty years and their musical ‘chemistry’ produced a wonderfully balanced account of Beethoven’s 3rd Sonata. They wove a tapestry of sound which flowed seamlessly from one to the other, with both pianist and cellist producing exquisite pianissimos.
The Sonata by the Russian composer, Myaskovsky, was written under the oppressive glare of Stalinist ideology, when composers had to do as they were told – or else! The simple melodies were conveyed with soulful expression.
In the final work, Brahms’ passionate Sonata Op 99, the artists generated a breath-taking range of emotion which swept the audience through the work’s contrasting moods. The pianist’s fine technique enabled him to carry off with ease the difficult and fiery Scherzo movement while the rich melodies and haunting pizzicato notes of the cello part were endowed with a beauty beyond measure.
Listeners, aware that they’d been treated to something very special, conveyed their thanks with energetic applause. In return, as an encore, these fine artists bade us adieu with the lingering beauty of ‘Love Song’ by Karl Weigl.

Reg Wrathmell

Friday, 11 May: London Handel Players perform at the renowned International Handel Festpiele Goettingen

London Handel Players are joined by renowned Baroque dancers, Mary Collins and Steven Player to perform Music for a king! Louis XIV’s passion for music and dance inspired many Baroque composers to write exquisite dance pieces. The London Handel Players present a selection of these pieces by Lully, Handel and Bach, choreographed by Baroque dancers. With this royal concert programme, Laurence Cummings says goodbye to over 15 years of working together with the London Handel Players.

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15, 23 & 25 May 2018: Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch, Beethoven Triple Concerto with Orchestra of the Swan in Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham and Cheltenham

Although the concert in Stratford-upon-Avon on 15 May is now sold out there is still an unmissable opportunity to hear Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch play the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Orchestra of the Swan in Birmingham on 23 May or Cheltenham on 25 May.

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