Home Theatre András Schiff is filled with surprises on the Edinburgh Worldwide Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide

András Schiff is filled with surprises on the Edinburgh Worldwide Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide

András Schiff is filled with surprises on the Edinburgh Worldwide Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United KingdomUnited Kingdom Edinburgh Worldwide Competition [5] – Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven: Sir András Schiff (piano). Queen’s Corridor, Edinburgh, 11.8.2023. (SRT)

Sir András Schiff (throughout a earlier live performance) © Yutaka Suzuki

J.S. Bach – Aria from Goldberg Variations; Capriccio on the Departure of his Beloved Brother in B-flat; Ricercar a 3 from The Musical Providing; Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor
 – Fantasia in C minor
 – Variations in F minor; Sonata in E-flat

Beethoven  – Sonata No.17 in D minor (‘The Tempest’)

Properly, this was enjoyable! Not solely was it a morning spent within the firm of one in every of our nice pianists, however the programme was an entire shock. Sir András Schiff didn’t announce upfront what he could be taking part in on this Queen’s Corridor live performance. Since 2021 he has most well-liked the to deliver the factor of shock to his live performance, having fun with the spontaneity of selection and the immediacy of the communication it provides him with the viewers, so we went into this live performance clueless as to what it could include.

The aren’t many pianists who might get away with that – usually, audiences prefer to know what they are going to be listening to – however Schiff is so liked and trusted that the Queen’s Corridor was packed out regardless; and possibly the viewers was trying ahead to being bamboozled by the outcomes.

Within the occasion, Schiff performed music from his core repertoire: Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. He performed it fantastically, after all, however virtually as attention-grabbing was the way in which he communicated with the viewers from the stage. He has about him the air of an aged, realized Magus who has earnt the precise to do exactly no matter he desires. He speaks with laconic understatement and droll humour, telling us the ‘life’s too quick to hearken to dangerous music’ and lamenting the truth that Haydn is probably the most underrated of the good composers, ‘besides in Britain.’

And after his first few numbers, his couplings have been intelligently chosen. He bracketed collectively Bach’s Ricercar and Mozart’s Fantasia as a result of similarity of their opening themes, whereas Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue was paired with Beethoven’s The Tempest Sonata as a result of they share each a key and a recitative-like high quality at sure important moments. The whole lot was performed together with his trademark intelligence, which may very well be both soft-focused or forensic because the music required.

True, it made for a lengthy live performance: the primary half alone was practically 90 minutes, drawing a deadpan ‘thanks for staying’ after the interval. Moreover, there was a component of rifling by means of the toybox to the entire thing, relatively than essentially contemplating the programme as an entire; one thing which additionally defined the unwieldy size. It did trigger me to mirror, nonetheless, on whether or not we put an excessive amount of emphasis on the idea of the well-conceived programme, and what number of musicians actually obtain that efficiently, anyway? Schiff’s taking part in and his musical intelligence are at such a excessive degree that the majority viewers members would willingly spend an hour in his musical firm, even when his decisions may very well be capricious.

Simon Thompson

The Edinburgh Worldwide Competition runs at venues throughout town till Sunday twenty seventh August click on right here for particulars.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here