We welcome this review from guest contributor Sophia Vastek, who was once again kindly filling in for your ailing moderator.
Bach, Partitas 1/5/6
Bach, Keyboard Partitas (BWV 825-30) | Schumann, Kinderszenen (op. 15) | Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 30 (op. 109) | Chopin, Mazurkas
The Bach was exceedingly well done. Perahia's exploitation of the piano and its range of tools created a partita that really did sound harpsichord-like. His use of pedal at all the right moments, voicing of melodies (however slight), and small range of dynamics all lent beautifully to Bach that was both pianistic and aware of its source. The ornamentation in the gorgeous Sarabande was especially fine: woven, perfectly placed notes that effortlessly circled the melody. The Beethoven sonata, a decidedly quirky one, had a beautiful opening, as if the music had started long ago and he deigned to enter into it. Perahia really made us wait for that first moment of Beethovenian fiery passion, but when it did come in the Prestissimo, it was well worth the wait. It was playing of range, colors, and most importantly, passion, but as quickly as this pianist emerged, he also disappeared.
Anne Midgette, Perahia and Bach: a gentle fit (Washington Post, October 19)
The next important piano events in the WPAS series are the lecture by Alfred Brendel (November 16, 7 pm) at the Austrian Embassy and the multimedia recital by Leif Ove Andsnes (November 20, 7:30 pm) at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. The latter will pair selections from Schumann's Kinderszenen and Mussorgsky's Memories of Childhood.