Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mercoledi Musicale

One of the concerts I choose to give a miss this year at the Whitsun Festival was a piano recital by the young French pianist David Fray. Fray appeared on the music scene in 2004 winning the second grand prize at the Montreal International Piano Competition . He is a rather mannered player reminiscent of a long-haired Glen Gould – though he has voiced little admiration of Gould citing Wilhelm Kempff as his model. Unlike much of the performances scheduled last week he will not be concentrating on Rossini however he won’t be entirely neglecting the Man of the hour.

In 1820 Liszt transcribed La caritá (Charity), a short religious choral composition of Rossini’s, for piano. It was the last work of a triptych – I’ll let you figure out what the other two may have been called. Fray will be including it in his programme along with selections by Schubert, Bach and other works by Liszt.

I tried to upload a version by an Australian pianist who has recorded all the piano works of Liszt - 98 volumes - however YouTube banned it almost immediately despite the link to his website etc.  I will not name either the artist or the label because I was all set to give them free publicity .

Unfortunately the only piano version on YouTube is not a particularly good one but there are several lovely postings of the original choral piece (mostly by amateur choirs) and this one is particular favourite.

The soprano Jodie Devos was the second laureate in this year's Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels. Should you wish to hear a bit more of this young soprano, her performance at the finale of the Competition is available here.

June 17 - 1631: Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, will spend the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal.

1 comment:

David said...

Fray's debut disc (Boulez/Bach) I found sensational. Not heard him since, nor live. He always seems to make interesting programmes, at least.