Back to the concert hall to hear Richard Goode's piano recital

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Ricordanza
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Back to the concert hall to hear Richard Goode's piano recital

Post by Ricordanza » Sat Nov 06, 2021 3:59 pm

It’s been 21 long months since I’ve attended a live concert. Sure, there have been virtual concerts on my computer screen during the pandemic, and there’s no shortage of YouTube performances and recordings if I want them. But for a complete musical and emotional experience, there’s nothing like a live concert.

For Richard Goode’s appearance Tuesday evening, November 2, under the sponsorship of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, there were certain concessions to the pandemic: Entrance to the concert was limited to those who are fully vaccinated, and proof of vaccination and ID were checked by security personnel before we even entered the Kimmel Center. Masks were required to be worn at all times. And there was no intermission; mingling and exchanging opinions during intermission is an enjoyable part of the concert experience, but it’s not ideal while the virus remains a threat.

Goode began his program with three of Franz Schubert’s Moments Musicaux, D. 780. These short pieces were meant for the amateur pianist, so they are not particularly challenging, but in the hands of a master like Goode, they are something more than pretty salon pieces. The third of these pieces, in F Minor, is the most familiar and suggests a dance.

Much of Schubert’s piano music is lyrical, reflecting the fact that this composer wrote hundreds of songs in his short life. However, the Sonata in A Minor, D. 845, does not fit this category. It’s remarkable for its structure and development, rather than its melodic content. In this sense, it is one of the most “Beethovenian” of his piano works. It was no surprise, then, that Goode, a renowned Beethoven specialist, delivered a thoughtful and compelling performance of this powerful work. Particularly memorable was the second movement, Andante poco mosso, a set of complex variations on a theme.

The program continued with Goode’s gorgeous performance of Robert Schumann’s Papillons (Butterflies), Op. 2. The title, which is Schumann’s own, is somewhat of a misnomer. Yes, some of the 12 pieces in this set are relatively light and airy, but it’s really a set of dance pieces. I can’t recall when I last heard this work in concert. Most pianists tend to perform Schumann’s later sets of character pieces, such as Carnaval or Kreisleriana, but I’m glad that Goode chose to include this work on the program. Despite its early Opus number, Papillons is a fully mature work and one of Schumann’s most satisfying.

Goode’s final selection was a work that was new to me: Bela Bartok’s 15 Hungarian Peasant Songs. These are piano arrangements of folk melodies that Bartok collected in his travels through the Hungarian countryside. Written during the period from 1914 to 1918, the settings are just starting to wander away from the traditional harmonies of the 19th Century. These pieces are not as immediately “catchy” as Bartok’s six Rumanian Folk Dances that are heard more frequently in recital, but they were a fascinating addition to the program, and I’d like to hear them again.

Richard Goode has presented a recital with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society for nearly every one of its seasons. I’ve been to many of these recitals, going back 20 years. Now 78 years old, Goode remains an audience favorite; his recitals, including this one, are almost always sold out. His only concession to age is that he now plays all selections with the score in front of him. But in no sense have the years diminished his mastery of the piano literature. I’m looking forward to hearing him next season.

Rach3
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Re: Back to the concert hall to hear Richard Goode's piano recital

Post by Rach3 » Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:24 pm

Many thanks ! I share your appreciation of Goode, and am envious as I’ve never heard him live, let alone annually! Fww, his early Nonesuch recording with Orpheus of Mozart’s PC # 17 is my gold standard for that work.I also agree “Papillons” extraordinary,prefer it to a couple of Schumann’s later works, if I recall the “butterflies” a reference to masks the dancers are wearing at an imaginary masked ball .

Ricordanza
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Re: Back to the concert hall to hear Richard Goode's piano recital

Post by Ricordanza » Sun Nov 07, 2021 7:47 am

Rach3 wrote:
Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:24 pm
if I recall the “butterflies” a reference to masks the dancers are wearing at an imaginary masked ball .
Aha! That makes sense.

lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Re: Back to the concert hall to hear Richard Goode's piano recital

Post by lennygoran » Sun Nov 07, 2021 8:56 am

Ricordanza wrote:
Sat Nov 06, 2021 3:59 pm
It’s been 21 long months since I’ve attended a live concert. Sure, there have been virtual concerts on my computer screen during the pandemic, and there’s no shortage of YouTube performances and recordings if I want them. But for a complete musical and emotional experience, there’s nothing like a live concert.
Hank, congrats-we've yet to take the plunge-miss the Met and Bdway. Regards, Len :(

Donald Isler
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Re: Back to the concert hall to hear Richard Goode's piano recital

Post by Donald Isler » Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:38 am

Thanks for this very interesting, well-written review, Ricordanza!
Donald Isler

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