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Playfulness and tragedy in a night of Schubert sonatas with Paul Lewis – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United Kingdom Schubert: Paul Lewis (piano). Wigmore Corridor, London, 30.11.2022. (JC)

Paul Lewis enjoying beforehand on the Wigmore Corridor

Schubert – Piano Sonata in E-flat, D. 568; Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 784; Piano Sonata in D, D. 850.

Paul Lewis’ recital of Schubert sonatas on the Wigmore Corridor opened with a harmonious and heat E-flat main sonority from the Sonata D. 568; that’s, earlier than a lone soprano listening to help — somewhat badly tuned, sadly — determined to hitch in and proceed singing till Lewis was compelled to acknowledge its presence by letting it proceed solo. What adopted was a somewhat comically awkward two minutes during which a roomful of viewers, the stewards, the pianist and the director of the Corridor participated in a collaborative effort to hunt the supply — after all, with out pointing any fingers or twisting one’s neck an excessive amount of, however merely silently ready.

Finally, the noise died down sufficient for Lewis to proceed, and he started the E-flat main Piano Sonata D. 568 once more. The unlucky incident did unsettle — albeit very barely — the pianist, because the textures within the first motion had been barely blurred by the pedals (I solely say this as a result of in a while Lewis confirmed how completely articulate he could possibly be), however the playful crossing between E-flat main and minor tonality within the first motion had been superbly delicate. Lewis had a manner with the accompaniment-like left hand within the second motion that made the melody in the correct hand soar as if we had been listening to a lieder being sung. The silences and pauses had been at all times wistful and barely anticipatory, creating a sense of the music hovering, at all times having us guess at the place it was going to go. Lewis’ tone different way more within the third motion; wealthy and luscious at instances, shimmering and floating at others, anticipating the vary of sounds he might conjure from the piano within the later two sonatas he was to carry out that night.

Lewis’ efficiency of Schubert’s tragic A minor Sonata D. 784 was gripping and intense in a manner that attracts you in somewhat than imposes itself. The silences of the primary motion, along with the acute pianissimos Lewis by some means managed to evince from the piano relayed an intense anguish which existed in Lewis’ refined and nuanced creativeness of Schubert’s music. The repressed feelings contained within the dim sound area he created confirmed us a darkish world with seemingly no mild, till Lewis performed the A significant chord, making that singular second all of the extra beautiful. It was actually fairly an intense expertise.

The grand and boisterous D main Sonata D. 850, composed when Schubert was holidaying within the mountain resort of Unhealthy Gastein, comprised all the second half of Lewis’ Wigmore recital. Regardless of its size, I used to be spellbound for the entire of it, and time flew by. Lewis took the primary motion at a quick tempo, making it very thrilling; this required a fast shift between completely different moods as Schubert’s music traverses by an assortment of keys, which Lewis pulled off superbly. There have been so many colors within the Andante con moto; Lewis’ enjoying was by no means superficial, and every shading was rigorously thought of regardless of showing spontaneous. Simply whenever you assume he couldn’t presumably go any softer, he proves you fallacious, and you might be drawn deeper and deeper into his mesmerising soundworld, one which emanates from inside him at the same time as he interprets notes from with out. The Rondo closing motion was performed with such a fragile contact that it added a contact of poignancy to the playfulness of the jaunty fundamental theme. It jogged my memory of the good pianist-teacher Heinrich Neuhaus’ emphasis on simplicity and naturalness in musical expression; this appeared to me manifested in Lewis’ efficiency as he revealed, along with his superbly easy efficiency of the Rondo finale of the D main Sonata, all of the advanced and significant wonders behind such easy and naïve music.

Jeremy Chan

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