Classical review: Alexei Volodin, Wigmore Hall, London
Tuesday 07 January 2014
Suddenly it’s raining Goldbergs, with pianists queuing up to deliver their take on Bach’s majestic set of variations.
Hot on the heels of Andras Schiff comes the young Russian pianist Alexei Volodin, whose approach could not be more different. Where Schiff was austere and didactic, Volodin is bold and juicy: his virtuosity is of the Soviet school, weight and power behind every note. But this didn’t prove ideal for a work which Bach had designated for the harpsichord: the intricate melodic lines which thread through many of the variations demand a cleaner delivery than they got here.
And also a slower one: to be able to play as dizzily fast Volodin may be wonderful, but it worked against this music. And when he did slow down – as in the famous ‘black pearl’ variation – the glacial pace sucked the energy out of everything around it. When the opening aria returned at the close, one had no sense of closure after an epic journey.
The rest of Volodin’s recital was much more satisfactory, with Ravel’s Miroirs vividly characterised – sweet languor for ‘Oiseaux tristes’, crackling energy for ‘Alborada del gracioso’. And his Chopin encores glittered: by the third he was just getting into his stride.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >