Classical notes on piano

Recital

The Pro Helvetia- Swiss Arts Council and the Bangalore School of Music presented a piano recital by Gilles Vonsattel recently. 

For each half of the programme, Gilles played in such a way that it concluded with a monument of Western classical music. He played Beethoven’s Sonata, Op 110 which is the work of a master composed nearing the end of his life, having reached the pinnacle of his art. Its range of expression was breathtaking. The sonata began with gentle  movement, shifting to a fast, humourous, almost raucous scherzo. The audience that was present to listen to the pianist mostly comprised of instrumental music lovers and also those who knew something about what was being played.

Gilles chose to preface this sonata with a series of short pieces. He started with a short selection of fugues from Bach’s Die Kunst Der Fuge. Then, he played Beethoven’s Op 126 Bagatelles, a series of short sketches that were written during the composer’s final years. Nancy Meg, one of the members of the audience said: “I have listened to Gilles before and each time I listen to him he plays better than the last time. Today also, he played really well and I simply forgot myself listening to him.”

The programme ended with Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. This was very different music than that of Beethoven.

Meira, another listener said, “I am mesmerised by the way he plays. I just stuck to my chair and forgot everything else around me.”

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