Assessment of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet with Gábor Takács-Nagy and Manchester Camerata on the Stoller Corridor, Manchester


 

Mozart’s late piano concertos are amongst his
biggest and subtlest creations, and consequently each immensely rewarding and,
by the identical token, very difficult.

The continued recording undertaking by Manchester
Camerata underneath its music director, Gábor Takács-Nagy, with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
as soloist, introduced an interesting live performance at Chetham’s on Friday evening. Phrase
had clearly acquired round: there was hardly a spare seat to be discovered.

Takács-Nagy and the orchestra, led by
Caroline Pether, acquired issues off to a fizzing begin with the Marriage of
Figaro
overture – modern with the C minor concerto, K491 and no. 24, which
was to comply with it. It was meant to be a contemporary tackle a well-recognized piece, stated the
maestro, and so it proved. With 20 strings in complete, the steadiness was certain to favour
readability within the wind strains, and so they emerged prominently, even from an enormous spherical
sound underpinned by fashionable timpani.

Large sound was a attribute of Bavouzet’s
strategy to the concerto, too, with loads of pedal used on the Schimmel instrument
to underscore the music’s tragi-Romantic qualities. He is aware of tips on how to be
self-effacing, too, and let the woodwind soloists have their justifiable share of the
limelight, however the piano has essentially to assert a lot of it. He had a grand
and dramatic first motion cadenza to supply (by Hummel), which contributed to
the solemn and weighty impact.

The gradual motion of K491 is a puzzle: such
a easy, seemingly infantile, opening tune certainly requires some ornament, however
how a lot? Bavouzet started very modestly, certainly making it appear a mere formality,
and although the ingenuity elevated (and there was extra within the finale), I wasn’t
fairly satisfied it was getting used to intensify the emotional influence of the music
(as classical embellishment actually ought to). The finale itself presents its
issues, and conductor and soloist will need to have determined it wanted some drama to
end, with a contact on the accelerator when the minor key signature returned.

The second half of the live performance started with a
actual curiosity: an overture for a play by Goethe (Erwin und Elmire)
written by Princess Anna Amalia von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, a up to date of
Mozart. Made-up identify, I assumed once I first noticed it (we’re close to April Fools’
Day, in spite of everything), however apparently she did exist. Was it a bit cynical to dig up
her efforts underneath the ABO Belief’s programme to advertise historic girls
composers? The truth that her composition, a pleasing train in Empfindsamkeit,
survived most likely solely illustrates one other inequality (of noblemen versus
mere skilled musicians) in her day. However at the very least – not like Mozart – she
believed within the employment prospects of second flutes.

The opposite piano concerto was no. 25 in C
main, K503. It had all of the virtues of the earlier Bavouzet/Takács-Nagy main
key concerto interpretations – lightness of spirit, conversational interaction
between soloist and orchestra, effectively crafted contrasts and, on this case, a bit
of a tempo change within the first motion to energise proceedings. The large
cadenza (by the younger American virtuoso Kenneth Broberg) was an actual flip, involving
a near-quotation of La Marseillaise which inspired many a chuckle
amongst its listeners.

Within the beautiful Andante gradual motion Bavouzet
quickly started to attraction with some melodic embellishment, very tasteful once more. The
finale was stuffed with brilliance and romped residence with a dizzying dash of an
Allegretto.

 

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