Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Mantovani (and others)

Waiting for Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
I subscribed to the Sydney Symphony International Pianists  series this year and wondered as I did so whether solo piano  would maintain my interest. I realised  during the first concert (Alexander Gavrylyuk) and that piano is entirely sufficient when you have an expert at the keyboard. Each of the four concerts has been very different and each interesting

Last night we heard Jean-Efflam Bavouzet play Beethoven, Mantovani and Ravel.

The Beethoven (three Sonata's including the Apassionata) was wonderful, but then I am always a sucker for Beethoven.

Mantovani is a friend of Bavouzet and wrote the next piece we heard,  Le Livre de JEB, especially for him.  I remembered a friend's records of  'Mantovani (b.1906) and his Strings'  which I had not liked but the music of Bruno Mantovani (b.1974) bears no resemblance to that of his namesake. Le Livre de JEB was astringent, descriptive and altogether enjoyable. In his excellent pre-concert talk, David Garrett had told us the piece was not only written for Jean-Efflam Bavouzet but was a portrait of him. Is it as confronting having a musical portrait written as having a visual portrait painted I wondered?   As I listened to this volatile and changeable piece I couldn't help thinking that it would be.

The last piece was Ravel's Mirrors and what can be better than a Frenchman playing Ravel? It was like hearing Ian Bostridge sing Benjamin Britten's music.

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