Martin James Bartlett in recital

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

Martin James Bartlett in recital

Post by Philip M » Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:42 pm

23 year old Martin James Bartlett won the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014. He gave a recital tonight in the Repertory Theatre in Stoke. I heard him 2 years ago and was not impressed - I left at the interval. Bartlett has significantly matured in the intervening 2 years and I enjoyed tonight more. What he does do is use colour. So many pianists today can play the notes and that is all they do. The piano is capable of so many colours yet they seem to be ignorant of this! At least Bartlett uses colour (though he still has a lot to learn before he has the full palette.

The programme sadly was aimed at promoting his recently released CD, and his second CD that he will soon be recording:

Bach-Busoni: Ich ruf zu Dir Herr Jesu Christ
Bach-Hess: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring
Mozart: Sonata in F K332
Julian Anderson: She hears
Scriabin: Sonata No.4
- interval -
Liszt: Petrarch Sonnet 104
Wagner-Liszt: Liebestod from Reistan & Isolde
Granados: El amor y la muerte from Goyescas
Rachmaninov: Polka de WR
Gershwin: The man I love
Gershwin: I got rhythm
Gershwin-Wild: Fascinatin’ rhythm
Gershwin-Wild: Embraceable you

So there was a lack of meat. Strangely the meatiest most difficult piece - the Scriabin - was the highlight of the recital. Played with passion and structure. If you don’t know it, it is your loss. Try this with the legendary Sofronitsky

The other major piece, namely the Mozart was rather disappointing. For me the slow movement is tragic, but Bartlett considers it to be much lighter. And he had no idea what the finale meant. The smaller pieces were OK. The short Anderson piece (part of his Sensation) is a study in sound chords. Tonal, listenable and enjoyable! Well worth hearing.

And how I wish more people would play the Gershwin Songbook, and Earl Wild’s Gershwin arrangements (I knew Earl and produced some of his recordings).


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