Is the song recital an endangered art-form? Full marks to John Gilhooly, director of the Wigmore, for coming out of his corner to belabour the doubters and purveyors of shoddy goods. As he’s pointed out in this newspaper, song recitals these days are often given by opera singers who don’t bother to prepare, ‘and why would anyone whose first experience is of someone bluffing their way through pieces they barely know go back for more?’
Every Beethoven performance by Murray Perahia is an event, but as he launched into the Piano Concerto No 4 in G major with the London Symphony Orchestra under Bernard Haitink’s direction he had the misfortune to stumble so badly in his opening flourish that he temporarily lost his poise. But not for long: he soon reasserted dominance by the sheer beauty and authority of his playing, with the orchestra enchasing the piano as though it were a rare jewel.
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