SHMF Concert was Enjoyable and Informative
From the very first measures of Chopin and Liszt’s Nocturne “My Joys” for piano, the Russian-born pianist, who lives in Berlin, displayed a wonderful culture of articulation and a rapport with the composition.
In Szymon Laks’s ballade Hommage à Chopin, the pianist made audible how Laks approached Chopin’s music. With a firm hold, he gradually intensified the drama. He played Chopin’s Minute Waltz seductively with a suggestively rendered rhythm. In Ravel’s La Valse he eruptively emphasized the strong breaks, made the despair and the compelled silence of Ravel’s memories of the First World War audible.
The second half of the concert belonged to Judith Ingolfsson, congenially accompanied by Stoupel on the piano. The violinist from Iceland movingly performed Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp Minor (posthumous) with a clearly chiseled and yet languorous sound. Laks’s lost version of the Trios Pieces de concert for cello and piano she reconstructed for violin and piano. Her playing was accordingly intense and authentic. The first movement came across dance-like, fanciful, and with subtle humor. In the “Romance” her crystal clear playing enthralled with a mournfully beautiful melody, while in the last movement she allowed lots of room for the comical accents.
In Ravel’s Sonata for violin and piano, the duo displayed wonderful unity. Ingolfsson particularly brought out the light, lapidary, resigned character of the blues. The boisterous ballad-like character of the composition succeeded so well that it almost seemed like Kurt Weill’s Pirate Jenny was singing.
I have never before heard an audience applaud between movements at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Until now. Until the concert with Judith Ingolfsson and Vladimir Stoupel in Norderstedt. The first movement of Simon Laks’s Trois Pieces de concert had hardly ended before a number of listeners applauded enthusiastically. Enthusiastically with good reason. Because the duo played fabulously.
Hamburger Abendblatt, 26 July 2010
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