Freddy Kempf at the Barber Institute

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

Freddy Kempf at the Barber Institute

Post by Philip M » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:25 pm

A concert of two halves tonight. “He sounds like a man in a hurry” was a comment I overheard at the interval of this all Chopin recital. And it was a comment I agreed with. I’ve known Freddy personally for over 20 years but I was disappointed an the extreme speed and dynamic range (too loud) in the first half. The 2nd Ballade and 2nd Scherzo were rushed with a resultant lack of clarity. The Nocturne Op.27 No.2 offered a respite before the helter skelter of the polonaise of the Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante rushed us to the interval.

But in the second half..... a different pianist. The structure was the same but the 4th Ballade breathed, had shape and line, inner voices and different colours could be heard. It was the same with the 4th Scherzo. Delicacy, clarity, beauty.... Then followed the highlight of the main recital - the Nocturne Op.62 No.1, surely one of Chopin’s greatest and most original Nocturnes. Yet rarely played. When did you last hear it live? Time stood still in Freddy’s performance tonight.


The recital ended with the Polonaise Op.53, which brought the house down and a standing ovation.


The best though was yet to come. As an encore Freddy played the Kapustin Concert Étude No.
7 “Intermezzo”. Written out cocktail bar jazz - but exquisite and of the highest quality. If you don’t know the piece, look it up on YouTube.


The recital was given in one of Birmingham’s hidden gems, the Barber Institute, which is part of the university. It has a lovely 300+ seater Art Deco Concert Hall plus one of the country’s finest art collections. If you are ever in Britain's second city, do go.


Philip

Rach3
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Freddy Kempf at the Barber Institute

Post by Rach3 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:32 am

Philip M wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:25 pm
Then followed the highlight of the main recital - the Nocturne Op.62 No.1, surely one of Chopin’s greatest and most original Nocturnes. Yet rarely played. When did you last hear it live? Time stood still in Freddy’s performance tonight.

Thanks for the reminder. Here is Dame Myra Lympany's recording of Op.62,No.1 from 1961, YT sound, but still fine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uecv8rCr35Y

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