A re we as performers always bound to execute Beethoven’s ornamentation as he consciously intended when we believe that there is a more convincing possibility? This is a subject to which a whole conference could be devoted, as it involves aesthetic, philosophical and even moral dilemmas. My own short answer is ‘Yes!’ There are certain works where it is obvious that a convincing manner of execution took decades to discover. It is reasonable to think that we are still today discovering it.”
Daniel Herscovitch, Professor of Piano, Univ Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
T he faculty recital given last night by Sydney Conservatorium faculty members Evgeny Sorkin and Gerard Willems was exciting. The program featured the ‘Spring’ Sonata (Op. 24) and the ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata (Op. 47). The conservatory’s ‘Cocktail’ programs—starting at 19:30, with 65- to 80-min of performance and a snap 5-min intermission—are very popular. It is clearly a very effective marketing/programming concept… the recital hall was nearly completely filled up on this cool Fall Monday evening. Attendees seemed mainly to be 30s to 60s business people who work in Sydney’s central business district, who attend these concerts before taking the train home to the suburbs.
Abundant sturm und drang… lots of passion and gravity-defying force… yet tremendous intimacy, with both performers probing emotionally far beyond the notes. Such joy in this ‘Spring’! Really beautiful to see two artists enjoy performing together this much. Thrilling performance, plus 60 seconds of amusing historical/explanatory remarks from Gerard and Evgeny prior to beginning each piece. No ‘museum’, this!
- Gerard Willems website
- Evgeny Sorkin website
- Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Univ Sydney)
- Lockwood L, Kroll M, eds. The Beethoven Violin Sonatas: History, Criticism, Performance. Univ Illinois, 2004.
- Stowell R, ed. Performing Beethoven. Cambridge Univ, 2005
- Rostal M. Beethoven: The Sonatas for Piano and Violin, Thoughts on their Interpretation. Amadeus, 1985.
- Kolodin I. The Interior Beethoven. Knopf, 1975.
- Newman W. The Sonata in the Classic Era. Norton, 1983.
- Katz M. The Complete Collaborator: The Pianist as Partner. Oxford Univ, 2009.
- Accompanists' Guild of NSW
- CollaborativePiano blog (Chris Foley)