Sunday 19 July 2020, BBC Radio 3 @ 1 p.m.
Recorded at Cadogan Hall on 24 August 2015 (Proms Chamber Music)
Jeremy Denk started with a Black Mass, aka Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No.9 – enigmatic music given to sudden dissonant chords and unnerving risings of intensity and quickening of pace: plenty of notes and all over in a transcendental flash, Denk unrelenting in his championing. Then Bartók’s meaty Sonata, full of rhythmic verve (outer movements, Denk gratefully dynamic and with a range of touch, dazzling in the Finale) and night-time illusions (central movement) … all leading to C-minor Beethoven, Sonata Opus 111, in which JD was exploratory and explosive – LvB breaking boundaries – then, following a short but significant silence, alive to the variety of the second movement, from sacred ‘Arietta’ to inevitable endgame distillation via uproarious jazz. It was worth re-hearing this recital: recommended to anyone coming new to it … you have thirty days.