Simon Trpceski at Abbotsholme

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Philip M
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:38 am

Simon Trpceski at Abbotsholme

Post by Philip M » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:03 am

The Abbotsholme Arts Society started in 1968. Concerts are given in the small chapel of the Abbotsholme School, which seats c150. It is on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border in the small town of Rocester (pronounced Roster), which rather bizarrely is the global headquarters of JCB. The Society was set up by the then Director of Music at the school, Gordon Clark. He had an amazing knack of getting the world’s finest musicians to this tiny venue in the middle of nowhere. In the 1970s and 1980s I heard Richter, Gilels, Pogorelich and Pletnev there. More recently I heard Yevgeny Sudbin.

Last night it was the turn of the Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski. The hall was only about half full, giving an audience of about 80. Probably due to the floods currently prevalent in this part of the UK. As Simon explained, he felt as though he had invited us round to his home for an intimate musical evening.

The recital opened with Brahms’ Variations on a theme of Robert Schumann Op.9, a wonderful 20’ work that for some reason is rarely played. There is such beauty and subtlety in the variations. Three of Liszt’s Soirées de Vienne followed, Nos.5,7 and 6. They are based on some of the hundreds of short dance pieces that Schubert wrote - and are delightful. No.6 is the most well-known and indeed was played by Horowitz. In Trpčeski’s hands they were very much more Schubert than Liszt - which I think is what Liszt wanted.

After the interval, a rarely programmed Prokofiev piece - the 4 brief Tales of an old grandmother. They each last just a couple of minutes and deserve to be heard far more frequently.

A real novelty followed - Konstantin Chernov’s arrangement of the Rimsky-Korsakov orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain. This was terrific - and the arrangement really worked. Finally Trpčeski gave us Prokofiev’s demonic 7th Sonata. And what a performance. I heard Richter (who gave the world premiere of it) play this in RFH 50 years ago come next December. That was fabulous, but this was even better, the finale being breathtaking in its virtuosity and raw power. Yuja Wang often plays the finale as an encore - but she’s not in this league!

Simon was now really enjoying himself and gave us 4 encores. First we had 2 Prokofiev miniatures from Op.12: the March (No.1) and the Humorous Scherzo (No.9). Brahms’ famous Waltz in E flat Op.39 No.15 followed and we were smilingly sent away with Shchedrin’s Humoresque.

He repeats the recital tonight at London’s Barbican Hall (where the audience is likely to be about 20 times larger!) and next month will bring it to my festival at Codsall. I can’t wait!

Trpčeski travels the world and makes frequent trips to the US. He is in Houston next month. Do try and catch him. His schedule is on his website www.trpceski.com. And do go backstage and say hi. He is delightful.

Philip

Rach3
Posts: 2012
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Simon Trpceski at Abbotsholme

Post by Rach3 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:02 am

Thanks for this, a pianist I have followed for years. At one time I believe he was doing some duo-piano with a son of his ? Still ? TIA.

Philip M
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:38 am

Re: Simon Trpceski at Abbotsholme

Post by Philip M » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:16 am

Don’t think so. He has twin boys aged 3!

Rach3
Posts: 2012
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Simon Trpceski at Abbotsholme

Post by Rach3 » Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:23 pm

Philip M wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:16 am
Don’t think so. He has twin boys aged 3!
Thanks, I must be confused as son I had in mind would be 30ish.Unless earlier marriage ?

Philip M
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:38 am

Re: Simon Trpceski at Abbotsholme

Post by Philip M » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:03 pm

Simon is 40!

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