MICHAEL DRAKE Old Granary Studio, Toft Monks
A Norfolk summer sky hosting a golden sunset over cornfields awaiting harvest. An impressionist painting? Wonderful subject matter but in this instance, on Saturday, it was the complementary setting for French impressionist music from Debussy's first book of Preludes – a dozen diverse subjects painted colourfully and with no little humour by the internationally renowned pianist, Melvyn Tan in the Studio's summer series.
He illustrated artistry at the keyboard in a venue where the acoustic is quite superb and where the restored 1900 Steinway grand emitted a warm and mellow tone.
Prelude No 4 Sounds and Aromas Swirl in the Evening Air was so evocative of each moment; did the walker reach his destination with the enigmatic Footsteps in the Snow or through the melodic Hills of Anacapri? And what majesty there was in The Submerged Cathedral.
Then to Schubert's Sonata D960 in B flat portraying a richer sonority as the opening theme developed and the recitalist always kept the melody on springs until his buoyant personality was projected through the final dance-like movement.
Tan is currently recording the complete set of Debussy Preludes – it surely is going to be a CD for the collection.
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