Sunday, November 1, 2009

Till Fellner - All-Beethoven - 11/01/09

Beethoven: Sonata No 25 in G Major, Op. 79
Beethoven: Sonata No 24 in F Sharp Major, Op. 78
Beethoven: Sonata No 15 in D Major, Op. 28 ("Pastoral")

Beethoven: Sonata No 27 in E Minor, Op. 90
Beethoven: Sonata No 4 in E-Flat Major, Op. 7

It is incredibly hard to believe that two weeks have already past since I heard Till Fellner's enchanting Beethoven recital in Vienna, almost as hard to believe that I've just come back from the same Beethoven program performed by the same Till Fellner, not looking one hour older than a fortnight ago, at the National Gallery of Art. Needless to say I was very surprised to hear that he was going to give a concert in such a small venue more generally associated with up-and-coming or lesser known musicians, but needless to say very happy too. Planning to get there waaaaaaayyyyyyy ahead of time turned out to be particularly good thinking because even with showing up over an hour before the starting time, the line was already exceptionally long and the ushers were quietly fretting about getting everybody in, which, to their credit, they did, even if the late-comers had to sit in the hall.

The atrium of the National Gallery of Art may be a really lovely place to relax, read, have a conversation or muse about all the priceless artworks around the corner, but the fact of the matter is it is not the most conducive space to hear a classical music concert. Tall, luxuriant plants and an imposing fountain supporting two lovely putti frolicking with a goose impede normal seating, and the music tends to lose some of itself in the wide openness, but never mind. The magic still fully operated and we got to enjoy a remarkably nuanced performance of Beethoven's sonatas from his early and middle periods. As usual, the pianist was fully focused and beautifully expressed the many qualities of the various pieces with clarity, poetry and aplomb. A nostalgic thought of my wonderful stay in Vienna naturally entered my mind... All that was missing was a hot chocolate and a pastry (Sigh).

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