Soloist's dazzling show
THIS was the first time for quite a while that we were able to hear Liszt's transcriptions of one of the Beethoven symphonies.
No 6 (Pastoral) was chosen for this recital. The soloist, the eminent pianist Ashley Wass, has established himself as one of the leading performers of his generation.
His skills were evident to the maximum in this performance of Liszt's Homage to the great master. His transcription is a dazzling affair that sees the piano match the colour and texture of an entire orchestra.
This piece takes real technique and Ashley obtained the main essence in his interpretation of each movement. In the first the cheerful opening was at times rather harsh and I missed the orchestral instruments denoting the birds by the brook.
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But the country dancing and the build up to the storm were very effective.
The thunderstorm is perhaps one of the most dramatically explosive pieces and Ashley gave this full power before the gentleness of the shepherds brought this fascinating work to a satisfying conclusion.
To reward the audience's enthusiasm the pianist gave a dazzling performance of a difficult piece by Samuel Barber as a an encore