In his introductory phrases to the viewers, Timothy Younger calmly referred to his recital program as a feast comprising an entrée (Scriabin), a foremost course (Mussorgsky) and a few “afters” (Novacek & Kieran Harvey). The extraordinary meal served to us, nevertheless, was sufficient to scare most masterchefs proper out of the kitchen.
In Adele Schonhardt’s welcoming phrases, she briefly thanked Kawai for his or her central function in permitting Australian Digital Live performance Corridor to have offered now greater than 360 concert events and elevating greater than $3 million for musicians for the reason that launch of ADCH. The Kawai grand piano actually stood up properly tonight, because it was given one in all its hottest and most formidable exercises throughout Younger’s “musical feast”, totally described in his wonderful program notes as dramatic, mystical, complicated, virtuosic, frenetic and hyperkinetic. So true.
Composed in 1903, Scriabins’ daring two-movement Sonata No 4, Op. 30 first took us to the passionate and Romantic previous, with the opening Andante attractive the viewers because it explored an abundance of free excessive floating trills and mushy repeated patterns. Dreamy Parisienne sensual textures, and fairly rising questioning phrases have been performed with such crystal clear tones in a heartfelt method because the music unexpectedly developed into an unrestrained, athletic whirlwind for the Prestissimo Volando the place Scriabin’s audiences would have felt he was breaking the bounds of typical concord. And he was.
For this Sonata, Scriabin wrote a poem describing flight to a distant star:
“Now joyfully I fly upward to you, freely I take to the air, mad dance, godlike play, I draw close to in my longing.” A rising whirlwind of wide-ranging arpeggios and voluminous chords escalated the lust, ardour and voracity of this harmonically ground-breaking piece. We too felt we have been in a flying whirlwind, holding our breath. Anticipating the decision.
Recognised for his effective endurance, stamina and talent to maintain extended concentrated effort, and excellent musicianship, Younger confirmed no signal of feeling the warmth from this musical kitchen. There was no mopping of the forehead as he continued to serve up a real epic in piano literature, Mussorgsky’s Footage at an Exhibition.
Younger actually introduced out the character of every of the “footage”, astounding us along with his manufacturing of full orchestral timbres and highly effective sonorities. Fairly stunning have been the efficient contrasts in power, motion and intense tone color for every of the repeated “Promenades”, such a well known linking passage, so colourfully and uniquely offered tonight. In Younger’s palms The Gnome was frighteningly grotesque, with giant-like sounds and steely-lightning strikes demanded from the piano, and Bydlo, the oxen cart, equally introduced highly effective, darkish, loud and compulsive chords to the earthy scene. We may see, style and scent the shadows and genuine historic ambiance of The Outdated Fort in these quintessential musical portraits, and really feel the lack of rhythm, life and hope with the sustained and fading tones of Catacombae as deathly chords struck sluggish, spaced closing blows.
What adopted this foremost feast, was designed for an viewers with a very enormous urge for food. Younger launched the subsequent works, each composed in 2020, by two particular and extremely illustrious buddies, sensible pianists John Novacek and Michael Kieran-Harvey.
Winner of Worldwide Piano competitions, and a broadly carried out and recorded orchestral composer, Novacek’s character might be hinted at with earlier piano items entitled Hog Wild, Cockles and Melancholy Drag. He made his piano solo model of Trio Malenita (initially commissioned for Ensemble Liaison in 2020) particularly for Timothy Younger – listed tonight as Dance-Rondo “Bermudez.” Columbian clarinettist Bermudez excelled in Columbian dance rhythms, particularly the fandango – music to transcend on a regular basis realities. Younger revelled within the virtuosic flight of a vibrant, spiky joyride. There have been wild cross-rhythms, implausible blends of rags and fashionable bossa flavours, at all times displaying technical virtuosity and modern journey. There have been few resting locations on this dance.
Nearly hand-in-hand got here the subsequent equally astonishing and spectacular work. Commissioned by Graeme Lee as a response to 17 prints and 17 texts, or aphorisms, the visible, textual and musical interpretation resulted in 17 Sonata actions composed by Kieran-Harvey throughout the 2020 pandemic. Clive O’Connell’s description is ideal: “The compositional patterns are mind-bogglingly complicated”. Younger described the idea of the quantity 17 being the one prime quantity to be made from 4 consecutive primes – 2,3,5,7 – as this piece, entitled 17 Fitzroy Jazz 11, used these “figures” all through the Sonata. Adventurous, inventive, distinctive in design, and technically astonishing, Younger once more revelled in sharing a wild and spectacular, bodily partaking rhythmic work.
I confess, my jaw did drop and froze in astonishment because the work progressed, it’s closing bars being a triumphant tour de drive greeted by an viewers standing with shouts of Bravo! This was a strong show of highly effective piano repertoire.
Julie McErlain reviewed “Mysticism and Footage”, a piano recital carried out by Timothy Younger as a part of the Kawai Piano Sequence on the Athenaeum Theatre 2 on July 21, 2022.