IT was a red letter day on Saturday, November 26, for lovers of piano in Honiton and further afield when the distinguished pianist Andreas Boyde gave a recital at St Paul’s Church.
His programme, which ranged from Haydn to Liszt and Schumann, was given in memory of Joanna Leach, another distinguished pianist who had lived at Shute and who sadly died earlier this year.
It soon became evident that Andreas possess a phenomenal technique as each item in his programme required a high level of virtuosity. The music, however, never came secondary to his technique. From the formal concentration of the classical Haydn to the dark and towering romanticism of Liszt all were played with a clear understanding of what the composer was saying in his music.
The opening two itmes by Brahms, (Scherzo Opus 4 and Intermezzo Opus 117) dating from the early to late periods in his life, allowed us to bathe in the glorious harmonic idiom which so distinguishes this composer.
Haydn was well known for the humour in much of his music and this was clearly brought out in the 3rd movement of the C Major Sonata. Items from Liszt’s Annees de pelerinage immersed us in the passion which emanated from the compositions of the greates pianist of the nineteenth century.
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The second half of the programme commenced with Andreas’ own reconstruction of Robert Schumann’s Variations on the Schubert Walz of Longing. This short but intriguing item reflected Schumann’s great love for the melodies of Schubert.
Following this we were treated to the well known Carnaval.Written halfway through his life, this is one of Schumann’s most characteristic pian works, the story being made up of descriptions of personalities and of the League of David’s Men against the Philistines. Andreas’ recording of this work was his first on Joanna Leach’s Athene label.
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The Audience’s appreciation of the evening was shown by a spontaneous standing ovation.
The Pianist’s love for Joanna Leach was clearly shown in his interpretation of the music in this memorable recital and possibly most in his encore, a simple but very moving arrangement of Brahms’ Cradle Song.
This recital was the first in a series to be promoted by The Joanna Leach Foundation.
The next will be on March 3, 2012 and will feature Stephan Loges, baritone, accompanied by Alexander Schmalcz, piano and Emmanuel Bach, violin, accompanied by Jenny Stern, piano.