Sunday, 25 August 2019
MUSIC REVIEW: Chetham's Piano Festival: Recital for Violin and Piano - The Stoller Hall, Manchester.
The first piece was the ever-popular Sonata No 1 by Brahms. The work is in three lyrical movements and although all three are given different tempo markings [vivace ma non troppo, adagio and allegro respectively], all three go through quite a varying range of dynamics before their ultimate, quiet and rather peaceful resolution. If I am to be honest though, for me, this work lacked attack and punchiness. It all felt a little too 'comfortable' for me. That is not to say it wasn't masterfully played, with Bingham and McLachlan working excellently together, it just didn't come quite as alive as I have heard it do so on other occasions.
The second and final piece in their concert this evening however was just that; bright, alive, engaged, thrilling, and exciting. It was a very rare outing of a little known piano nd violin duet by Busoni; his Sonata No 2 in E Minor. I had never heard this before, but was absoluely delighted by it. This is no stroll in the park for either player and it is a work of substance and considerable beauty. Starting quite dark and brooding, slow and perhaps also meditative, it gives way to passages of lyrical and romantic mood, frightening pompous marches, joyous country dances, slow and mournful passages, Celtic jigs, a fugue, and finishing back in the minor key softly and lyrically. This was a sheer delight to hear and was played masterfully.
Reviewer - Matthew Dougall
on - 24/8/19