Performances of Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms at the Royal Academy of Music

February 6th at the Royal Academy of Music

On the second night of the tour, Elicia and I went to the Informal Piano Department Concert at the Royal Academy of Music. This concert was for students at the academy to perform what they are currently preparing, and to also film theirselves in a performance environment to then do a self evaluation. There were three performers throughout the concert.

The first performer played two beautiful pieces, firstly a Beethoven Sonata, followed by Tchaikovsky’s Scherzo Alla Rus Op. 1 No. 1. Throughout the Beethoven piece, she brought out many varying characters and carried an amazing sense of line. I found it mesmerising to watch how quickly her hands moved during the forth movement. She then moved onto play the Tchaikovsky piece which she is preparing for an upcoming competition. This piece had very dramatic and tense moments, which I personally loved.

The second pianist played Schumann’s Kreisleriana Op. 16. I felt as though the pulse and direction got slightly lost through the first movement, but improved further into the piece. The second movement was composed of many beautiful and rich harmonies, I just wish some of these were enhanced more. The third moment had a much better pulse and voicing. It began very intense and dark, but soon turned to be more nostalgic and elegant. Each note was defined, projected well, and the dynamics were well expressed. I found it interesting to watch how much she pedalled throughout this piece. The way in which her foot moved matched the characters within the piece.

The third performer played Brahms’ Piano Sonata No 3 in F minor, Op. 5. What I found interesting about the beginning of this piece was that the intensity was not brought out by fortissimo volume, but rather an incredible amount of control and joint support. This epic projection was carried throughout the entire piece. This performer also brought great amounts of contrasting dynamics and characters to this piece. He really justified the moments of relief in the first movement, which were necessary to cut through the moments of tension in the harmonies. The second moving was very beautiful and began out very hopeful. This movement sounded like a memory; some moments were a dream, and others a subtle nightmare.

This concert was an amazing experience for us and we really appreciate the opportunity given to us.

Written by Monique Warren

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