Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Mozart, Schubert & Tchaikovsky

Aleksandar Madzar (piano)

Mozart Andante in F for mechanical organ K. 616
Schubert Piano Sonata in B flat D. 960
Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite (arr. Pletnev)

Wigmore Hall, Sunday morning 9 December 2007

Three of the best piano performances I have heard in recent years have been by Aleksandar Madzar and it was encouraging that this fine musician, whose is not a household name in Britain, made so many people pause in their Christmas shopping to spend an hour and a half in Wigmore Hall.

They will have been richly rewarded by a pianist who hides his phenomenal technique with near invisibility on the platform. There is no gesturing and his playing is based upon relaxation and dominance of a super-sensitive ear. The Mozart made a fine, unusual starter. He found an unearthly, bright gleaming tone which was a good, you might call it metaphorical, equivalent for the mechanical organ, for which this affecting late work was composed.

The Schubert was as quietly compelling as any account I recall, holding the audience hushed throughout its lengthy disquisition. Not too slow starting, and with a veiled tone to begin, suggesting mysteries to be unfolded, everything was felt and conveyed with minimal rubato and precise emphases. Overall, one of the quieter pianists to be heard in Wigmore Hall, but one who draws you in to listen attentively as do few others. In the finale, there were a few (undisturbing) splashes, which were out of character for Madzar and taking his recital as a whole, but nothing out of place in Schubert's unexpected virtuosic rush to the sonata's final conclusion.

Nor did anything mar the supreme virtuosity with which the Nutcracker arrangement was affectionatey despatched with its extravagant flourishes wittily understated, as if in parenthesis. Pianism for pianists.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See also: Madzar X 2 ; Madzar at Blackheath