Pianist shows why he’s tops – Paul Lewis reviewed in the West Australian

After a good few days on the road, Paul Lewis is resting in Sydney this afternoon before heading to Newcastle tomorrow. Paul continues to delight audiences and critics alike, with the following review by Neville Cohn appearing in the West Australian.

“British pianist extraordinaire Paul Lewis was in fine form in a many-splendoured Musica Viva recital on Tuesday.

Above all, Liszt’s Vallee d’Obermann, proved most satisfying. In the more contemplative episodes, the playing was achingly poignant, even the least significant notes pregnant with insight. Here was an interpretation that unambiguously demonstrated the finesse that has brought Lewis to the pinnacle of international success.

Earlier we heard one of Mozart’s darkest offerings, the Adagio in B minor. Here, too, Lewis played with faultless phrase shaping and refinement of nuance, the more meaningful for clothing each note in velvety mellow tone. This exceptional musicianship
placed this critic in the pleasant Artistry: Paul Lewis position of having to do little more than salute artistry of the most
exalted sort.

In Schumann’s vast Fantasie in C, Lewis did wonders as he focused on the minutiae without losing sight of the overarching grandeur of the whole. Whether in moments as tender as the touch of thistledown or evoking white-hot intensity, Lewis was master of the moment as he revealed the passionate demon that lurks behind the printed page. And the skill and seeming ease with which the work’s torrents of notes were marshalled was not the least of the many virtues of Lewis’ interpretation.

In music auditoriums around the world this year, innumerable concerts are marking the bicentenary of Schumann’s birth. Lewis’ account of this great romantic composer’s vast opus would surely have to be one of the most satisfying.

Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata is not for timid pianists. It is a veritable Everest on the slopes of which many a lesser musician has come to grief. Not so here. Lewis who is the pianistic equivalent of an Olympic athlete in top form, scaled these most treacherous of musical crags with awesome ease. I particularly admired Lewis’ account of the slow movement which came across with an expressiveness that would surely have moved even the most demanding of listeners.

As an encore, Lewis offered up an immaculate account of Liszt’s contemplative Klavierstuck in F sharp minor.”


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About Musica Viva Australia

Welcome to Musica Viva’s International Concert Season blog. Here you can follow and read more about our wonderful touring artists.

3 responses to “Pianist shows why he’s tops – Paul Lewis reviewed in the West Australian”

  1. Sharon Ellam says :

    He held me……….in his TURBULENT EMBRACE! And then he ROCKED ME into the DEPTHS OF MELANCHOLY!

    Just another night at a Musica Viva Concert at Newcastle Conservatorium – Maestro Paul Lewis from London…………hold me………..1 more time!

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