Monday, July 25, 2022

Hall for Cornwall, Truro

The second Monday lunchtime Prom found Alim Beisembayev (Leeds winner last year) in Wreckers territory. The three Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti were respectively crisply enunciated and repeated-note brilliant; songful and harmonically teasing; and a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ 100-metres dash, Beisembayev and his sparkling fingers taking Gold. Of the Liszt choices, ‘Paysage’ was duskily lyrical; ‘Mazeppa’ powerful and demonic, thunderous by its conclusion; but ‘Feux follets’, for all its edgy drive, came across as too fast. Chopin’s first movement was also somewhat clattered along, the second subject a little too sectionalised, although Beisembayev, when repeating the exposition, went back to the very beginning – marked Grave – rather than the Doppio movimento; from there, his playing took on greater meaning, although the Scherzo was hectic and somewhat smudged, and the Trio could have breathed a little more. There was a long pause before the ‘Funeral March’ (and numerous digital dropouts throughout the broadcast), Beisembayev delivering something momentous, with the middle section ideally spacious and reflective, and then the extraordinary Finale, a spooky wind blowing leaves through a graveyard, over in a flash, and suitably chilling from Beisembayev. If he played an encore, Radio 3 was having none of it.

Radio 3 listing (amended):

Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in G major, Kk13
Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in C sharp minor, Kk247
Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata in C minor, Kk22
Franz Liszt: Transcendental Études – No. 3: Paysage
Franz Liszt: Transcendental Études – No. 4: Mazeppa
Franz Liszt: Transcendental Études – No. 5: Feux follets
Frédéric Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35

Sir Antonio Pappano @ Royal College of Music: conducts Vaughan Williams’s Fifth Symphony; Alim Beisembayev (Leeds Comp winner last year) plays Ravel’s G-major Piano Concerto; also Elizabeth Maconchy’s Nocturne & Arnold Bax’s Tintagel; January 21, 2022; Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall.

BBC Proms 2022 – Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers – from Glyndebourne Festival Opera conducted by Robin Ticciati [live BBC Radio 3 broadcast].