Thai Pianist Performs to High Standard

David Shavreen reviews the latest presentation of Blenheim Concerts

Blenheim Concerts

The next concert in the Seventeenth Season of Blenheim Concerts will be held at 3.30 p.m. in the Chlswlck Catholic Centre, 2 Duke’s Avenue, on Sunday, 16th May. it will be given by Anando Sankar Mukerjee (Tenor) and Richard Nunn (Piano) and will comprise a programme of English Art Songs, Arie Antiche, Lieder and Operatic Arias.

On Sunday March 14th, a grey blustery day, The Blenheim Music Circle had their spirits uplifted by the splendid piano recital given by the young Thai pianist Chaiporn Pookhaothong who had delighted us three years before by the brilliance of his playing.

It was a most attractive programme starting with an early sonata of Beethoven (Op.2, No.3). Even at an early age Beethoven’s personality was transforming the classical model into a vehicle for a language of passion and emotion which the new pianos with their rounder tones and sustaining pedals encouraged and Beethoven’s playing was said to have ‘tremendous power, character, unheard-of brilliance and facility’. Mr. Pookhaothong clearly followed in this master’s footsteps and in the Scherzo added another characteristic of young men the world over, a delight in fun and games.

The work which followed, Rachmaninov’s Variations on a Theme of Corelli is a superb work, on a par: with his more famous variations on a Paganini theme, but the earlier violin master must have been a greater challenge demanding a change from the strict formality of the classical age, As it was, this high romantic music was wonderfully interpreted and yet the vigour was well balanced by the delicacy of playing which is also built into the music.

The third piece was a bold choice, for Busoni is not amongst the best known of the late Romantics, but this music - “Erscheinung” from Elegies - with its slightly acid harmonies spoke of an individual with his own poetic language, and the sympathetic interpretation of Mr. Pookhaothong made it seem a rare jewel well worth bringing into the light of day.

With Schumann’s ‘Carnaval’ we were on much more familiar ground. Schumann had intended by the title to suggest a masked ball in a particular town with a particular lady in mind and all the colour and excitement is there in the music, and again the admirable performance we heard brought out all the vlgour and vitality that this music demands.

There are times when an audience cannot fall to be impressed and grateful for a performance of high standard and this was truly one such.

David Shavreen

March 24, 2004

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