Review: Ariel Lanyi concert rounds of Sidmouth Music season - Upsmag - Magazine News

Review: Ariel Lanyi concert rounds of Sidmouth Music season

9:04 AM May 31, 2022

How do you round off a 50th anniversary season of music? For the climax of their celebrations in the Parish Church on Saturday, May 28, Sidmouth Music selected the bronze medal winner from the 2021 Leeds International Piano Competition, Ariel Lanyi, who showed how it should be done with style, passion and power in four works of quite different characters.

His opening piece was a Bach Prelude and Fugue, no 4 from book 1 of The Well-Tempered Klavier. Ariel’s approach was contemplative and articulate, his airy pace giving proper expression to the solemnity of the piece.

A completely different level of contemplation yielded an outstanding set of Schumann’s ‘Kinderszenen’. Every one of the 13 reflections on childhood was full of character and empathy, but the audience was held in silence by a gentle but never cloying ‘Träumerei’ (Dreaming), and again by the penultimate ‘Child Falling Asleep’ which had a lovely heavy -eyed feel to it.

Ariel brought another completely different feel to the concert with the Book 3 set from ‘Iberia’, Albeniz’s masterly 12 evocations of Spain. In ‘El Albaicin’ he brought life to this gypsy area of ​​Granada with its Flamenco rhythms, followed by the plaintive ‘El Polo’ Flamenco song. In the final ‘Lavapiés’ he produced a clamorous riot of sound evoking this noisy quartet of Madrid.

After the interval came a single work, Beethoven’s monumental Hammerklavier sonata. In a full-blooded performance, Ariel’s first movement was brisk but clear and coherent, creating a powerful, exhilarating opening. The second movement had the same driven feeling of excitement. The third, long, slow, movement was by contrast haunting and ethereal, the audience entranced by the spell he wove from the music. the final movement too begins tentatively and ethereally but the tension builds and Ariel held this at a high level throughout; only at the end was there palpable relief as the piece reached its majestic conclusion. the audience was on its feet in recognition of the superb performance they had just been given; a truly fitting end to the Sidmouth Music celebrations.

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