Peter Donohoe recital 31 Oct 2019

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Philip M
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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:38 am

Peter Donohoe recital 31 Oct 2019

Post by Philip M » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:52 am

In reviewing an LSO concert last month I bemoaned the fact the it was many years since I had heard a live piano version of Pictures at an Exhibition. Well - last night my wait was over as it ended Peter Donohoe’s recital at Stoke-on-Trent’s Repertory Theatre.

The first half of the recital consisted of Beethoven's A major Sonata Op.101 and Schumann’s Fantasy in C Op.17, two extraordinary masterpieces. Donohoe clearly adores them both and played them, in my view, too reverentially. He just didn’t seem to want to let himself go.

The all Russian second half was much better. Tchaikovsky’s Dumka Op. 59 preceded the Mussorgsky. I don’t recall hearing Dumka live before, but know it from Horowitz’s 1943 recording. It is a lovely piece, despite a rather trite middle section.

Donohoe threw himself into a wonderful Pictures. Hearing the piano version made me think how much better it is than the orchestral one. The piano writing has such drama and so many colours. Why oh why did Mussorgsky otherwise virtually shun the solo piano?

The encore was Tchaikovsky’s delightful Humoresque Op.10 No.2.

It struck me that, apart from the Dumka, Richter played all these pieces, including the encore.What a recital that would have been with the great man.....

Ricordanza
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Location: Southern New Jersey, USA

Re: Peter Donohoe recital 31 Oct 2019

Post by Ricordanza » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:40 am

Philip M wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:52 am
Donohoe threw himself into a wonderful Pictures. Hearing the piano version made me think how much better it is than the orchestral one. The piano writing has such drama and so many colours. Why oh why did Mussorgsky otherwise virtually shun the solo piano?
I also have a personal preference for the piano version, with one exception: the final section, The Great Gate of Kiev. The piano version of that section is grand, but the orchestral version is an unsurpassed thrill when heard in concert. But is the orchestral version "better?" That's a bit too far. In a sense, they are two different pieces (and, I should add, there are orchestral versions other than Ravel's, including those by Ashkenazy and Stokowski).

Thanks for your review.

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