On The Vine – July/August 2015
As usual at this time of year we are putting the final touches on next year’s International Concert Season, to be announced in August. It promises to be an amazing mix of the very well known alongside the entirely unknown, including a brand new production unlike anything we’ve ever presented before. Watch this space!
Meanwhile our 2015 season continues apace, with I Fagiolini flying around the country with its unique vocal insalata, and preparations already well in train for the following concert tour by British pianist Paul Lewis.
Our concerts inevitably focus on the core of chamber music repertoire – string quartets, piano trios and instrumental recitals. The latter category comprises mostly violin and cello performances accompanied by piano, but also that most rarefied form, the solo piano recital, in which a single musician sits at a black wooden box, pushing small black and white levers to conjure an orchestra of sound that invades the audience’s collective ear canal, transporting their minds to imaginary universes undreamt mere moments before.
Piano recitalists are a breed apart, and Paul Lewis is a perfect example of the species. His first performances in Australia were as a comparative unknown accompanying the Leopold String Trio in Musica Viva’s concert season of 2003. He has since emerged as a preeminent international soloist, and is now a regular fixture in the concert calendars of several continents, including this one.
For this, his fourth concert tour for Viva, he has selected a typically refined repertoire. In the centre are two fine works by Brahms, drawn respectively from the very start and very end of his career. These are sandwiched by two late masterworks by Beethoven, the composer who inspired Brahms so much that it filled him with a sense of hopeless inadequacy. Both composers helped to define the nature of pianism in the 19th century, and their compositions remain major milestones in every pianist’s life.
Lewis plays without affectation or adornment, and with a simplicity that invariably drills to the core of the music. This is truly artful performance, hiding profound interpretation beneath a deceptive veneer of effortlessness. This is, in short, my kind of music.
Carl Vine AO
Paul Lewis tours Australia 27 August – 12 September. For more information, and to book your tickets, please visit: www.musicaviva.com.au/GetLewis