A highly appealing programmme: a hit start to the season

“I’d be happy with a diet of piano recitals like this!” Audience member

The new season started with a recital by Erdem Misirlioglu, a young pianist rapidly expanding his repertoire and developing his profile as a soloist and chamber music pianist.

His programme today was highly appealing – starting with the early Beethoven Sonata in D Opus 10 . This is indeed a quirky piece of music with the composer often wheeling in and out of diverse keys, while maintaining thematic interest by use of varied dynamics. It was evident from his playing , that Erdem had spent the some time before the concert practising in order to familiarise himself totally with our piano. The fruit of this was to be heard in his highly sensitive touch which brought out every theme across the sound spectrum with the clearest contrasts.

No wonder that Brahms, the next composer to be featured, was so conscious of writing in the shadow to the mighty Beethoven. His later works for piano, so many dedicated to his beloved Clara Schumann, show how he broke gloriously free into a world of his own. This world was one of deeply felt, romantic harmonies giving emotive power to his melodies – few finer than these Opus 119 pieces. Erdem was able to elicit every nuance of affection within these musical love letters. One has only to cite his control of pedalling in the first piece in order to create a bell-like tone, in contrast with the anger one felt with the composer in the final Rhapsody, most probably at his unrealisable dream of a life with Clara.
After the break we entered the Impressionist world of Debusssy. This music has been dear to me since my teens and I cherry-picked the less challenging preludes to play, but I had never heard the whole of the first book of Preludes performed at one time. Their diversity was superbly interpreted by Erdem who was able to convey Debussy’s sonic palette of such contrasting images as the sunny hills of Anacapri with the lonesome chill of Footsteps in the Snow. The encore was Schumann’s Traumerei.

A dreamy piece of music, effortlessly played. How sad it was to touch down into reality – thank you, Erdem.

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