Cromer Music Evenings


Review by Terry Keeler
John Paul Ekins - Piano
Templewood, Northrepps  28th October 2012

Cromer Music Evenings in conjunction with the Cromer & Sheringham Arts Festival (COAST) presented pianist John Paul Ekins to open their concert programme for the 2012/13 series.

This young artist proved to be immensely mature in interpretation, possessing innate technical qualities and charisma, enhanced by a brief but very informative summary of each composers background relating to the pieces played.

Performing works by Mozart, Schubert, Liszt, Ravel and Schumann in todayís recital.

Mozartís Adagio in B minor KV 540 written in 1788 at a time when his health was failing. This Adagio was the only piece in which Mozart wrote in B minor and it is said that because his fear of death was so strong he used this key, with its dark tonal effect, which matched his mood at the time, but surprisingly the last 12 bars were written in the tonic major.

Schubertís View Impromptus D.899/1&4. Two works which bore no relation to each other, as the first played mirrored Schubertís views on mortality, as he became ill at 20 years old. The music full of pathos and dark tonalities was played with great feeling as if todayís artist fully understood the mood of Schubert at the time.

The next Impromptu in A flat major in complete contrast to the first, with the melodic line mainly in the bass to start with, was embellished by delicate groups of semi quavers as broken chords in the treble. Then came the middle section where the melodic line was in the treble. Here the key changed to C sharp minor, creating deep passion where Ekins maintained the quality of the melody even though it required accompaniment with full chords in both clefs, so impressive.

Lisztís Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude S.173/3 - a composition written over 7 years consisted of 10 pieces. This wonderful work demanded virtuosic technique which today seemed effortless to this pianist.

Ravelís Sonatine written in 1903, in sonata form, with the last movement being described as a violent toccata, delighted todayís audience.

Schumannís Etudes Symphoniques Op 13. A work of 9 variations described as compositionally extraordinary, certainly was the case - performed with great authority - confirming which was evident in the opening piece, that John Paul Ekins has a great future as a soloist and chamber musician who already is received with great acclaim in the UK, as a private teacher and taking part in workshops and master class recitals.

Terry Keeler
16 Norwich Road, Cromer
Tel 01263 513273