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Review by Terry Keeler
ALEXANDER SOARES (PIANO)
Templewood, Northrepps 24th May 2015

Cromer Music Evenings invited Alexander Soares as the artist to perform in this last concert of the 2014/15 season - as they did way back in May 2011 - again to perform in the last concert of the 2010/11 season. Within the four years it is obvious that this young artist will have matured in the performance of the classical composers as he has in interpretations of the contemporary writings of the impressionistic composers.

Today Beethoven’s Sonata Op.81a Les Adieux, was the first piece in the programme and what a magical performance - truly magnificent. I imagined Beethoven, who was not always in a good mood - would have been delighted with the depth of understanding in the interpretation, I am sure if Alfred Brendel had listened to this performance he would have been extremely impressed!

Liszt’s Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude (the blessing of God in solitude) being a typical example of Liszt flourishing style with a beautiful melody in the bass, with myriads of broken chords in the treble, played with consummate ease, engaging the truly masterful technique of this young artist. Here the audience was given a master class regarding the demands in Liszt’s writings for piano, encapsulating power superb tone gradations, delicious pianissimo playing in the upper register of the Yamaha piano. Here the delicacy of touch was perfectly balanced.

After the interval, two unmeasured Preludes in G minor and A minor by Jean-Henri d’Anglebert and Elizabeth Claude Jacquet de La Guerre - these two pieces in Baroque style gave licence to the performer to improvise ad lib extending the composition, therefore unmeasured!

Three more pieces in similar style by Pancrace Royer and Jean-Philippe Rameau, where embellishments were in nearly every bar, became an experience of crystal clarity and perfect articulation.

Chopin’s Polonaise-Fantaisie Op. 61 was a performance of the highest standard, where Soares, after playing the gentle intricacies of Baroque writings to the romantic style of Chopin was awe inspiring.

French composer Dutilleux’s Choral et Variations, the last item on the programme - this piece with its exciting rhythms especially in the bass - full of dissonant sounds really gave the listener in some cases to hear sounds never experienced before! This performance confirmed why this young man is in such great demand as a performer of the highest calibre.

Terry Keeler
Tel 01263 513273