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Coffee Concert for Wigmore Live

Schubert Duo Sonata in A D574
Schumann Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor Op. 105
Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Op. 78

Anthony Marwood violin
Aleksandar Madzar piano

Wigmore Hall, 19 September 2010

A very satisfying recital enjoyed by a capacity audience which was urged to behave with perfect decorum and complete silence, as the Hall was being turned into a recording studio (with another recording session to follow, requiring the Fazioli which was parked behind the Steinway!).

Do record buyers (of Wigmore Live CDs) really need and prefer this; not even a murmur as audiences clear their throats between movements, stretch and try to redispose their limbs (the seating has been tightened for longer legs since the last make-over) ? All to be ironed out after a "patching session" whilst we were all enjoyng our free drinks in the foyer afterwards; but here too, officials were urging us to be quieter... Quite different for BBC R3's recorded weekday lunchtime transmissions, when we are encouraged to keep talking for "atmosphere"...

Whatever, this was fine music making, with (for me) the especial authority of one of today's great pianists (Madzar's Diabelli Variations had been unforgettable "- - excellent technique, quick fingers, extremely clea, a distinctive pianistic personality, a cool classicism allied to careful judgment and emotional restraint - - tone also very individual, its silvery, dry quality aided by judiciously exiguous pedalling - - ")

Impeccable, alive Schubert & Schumann, the Brahms only maybe betraying a lack of exhaustive preparation together by two busy artists who had been touring together with this repertoire? The clue was the very first up-beat note, treated quite differently by violinist (a near throw-away) and pianist (the note given full value and warmth) and that the same upon its repetitions - the opposite of what one might have expected. Will that be tidied and rationalised before the CD is released; I doubt it.

That's only a tiny niggle; the CD is one to be "keenly awaited", as they say.

Peter Grahame Woolf