Krystian Zimerman: Take Two

At the Royal Festival Hall last night Zimerman gave a reprise of the concert I'd heard in Basingstoke a few days before. In-between times I'd been reading articles and blogs in particular I was impressed by:-

And the idea came to mind of KZ as a white van driver careering down the M3 early on Bank Holiday Monday.

Overall I'd say that KZ was more relaxed in Basingstoke and it showed in his playing. There was a certain nervousness about his playing - not just that there were more slip-ups, but also because there was a edginess to the interpretations too.

If anything this was a benefit in both the Beethoven and the Brahms. The Bach brought the house down. Conversely some young music students near me sat motionless after the Szymanowski - one having gesticulated fingers down her throat which I'm sure was directed at the piece rather than the pianist. Such sophistication is lost on me - neo Gothic and sprawling it may be - but I think the piece is worthy of a place on concert programmes - if only because one so very rarely hears anything different.

KZ got a standing ovation and deservedly so - the pianism may have been technically more polished in Basingstoke but the sense of performance was more palpable in London. But I'm glad I went to both.

Sadly there will be no record of KZs interpretations of these - this cloud hangs over all his performances.


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