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András Schiff Solo Piano Recital at The National Concert Hall
national | arts and media | news report Monday November 21, 2011 12:42 by Sean Crudden - impero sean at impero dot iol dot ie Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth 0879739945
"Though a Man Dies; He Shall Live Forever!"
I had one of the best seats in the concert hall; in the upper balcony where I could see the soloist clearly including his hands and his feet. The quality of the sound last night in the concert hall was amazing. Anyway I am saying no more. I have already written my comments which you can read below. Just to tell you I drove home like the hammers of hell to Jenkinstown in my white 2010 Toyota iQ and I sat down to eat some cold past in pesto sauce at the kitchen table shortly after mid-night last night.
András Schiff bristles like a person whose attitude is, “If you want fight you will get it!” But his music is fully realised and peaceful.
When I got up this calm morning for a brief moment the pearly grey sky over Dundalk Bay brightened in the rising sun. An analogy for the concert given last night by Mr. Schiff. Like nice weather or a happy baby there is something agreeable and uplifting about his performance although there is no doubt he was about serious business last night and gave his very considerable all in a very impressive and totally successful performance.
Kevin Maguire, the man with magic in his hands, said to me on the 3rd fairway in Greenore yesterday, “Golf is a great game.” “Yes,” I agreed, “But it can be annoying?” The same could be said of music. There was nothing annoying about last night’s performance. For those interested in technicalities like rhythm, timing, touch, musical logic; Mr. Schiff ticked all the right boxes in the loveliest possible way. I remember with great interest the freedom and poise of many great jivers particularly women I saw in my youth. Their whole bodies resonated and chimed in with the music. There is nothing contrived or artificial about Mr. Schiff’s music. It originates within his very core and his whole body is unobtrusively implicated in his performance. No desperation, nothing uncertain, everything was under control last night but overall the effect was astounding.
A wonderful program. I laboured under the clear delusion that Mozart, Mendellshon, Haydn, Schumann, Beethoven were talking to me from the platform of the National Concert Hall last night. I was particularly interested to find out how Schumann’s wonderful and intimate music would sound in a live performance. It filled the concert hall with the balm of that wonderful man’s personality. Thanks to Mr. Schiff.
Mozart: 12 Variations in B flat on an Allegro KV500
Mendelssohn: Variations Sérieuses Op. 54
Haydn: Variations in F minor Hob. XVII: 6
Schumann: Theme with variations in E flat “Geister Variations”
Beethoven: Diabelli Variations