Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Anderszeweski
CHRISTOPHER SMITH Snape Maltings
A capacity audience at this Snape Prom was charmed not with one but with two of the light-hearted Divertimentos that Mozart wrote whilst still in his teens.
Directed by their leader Christopher George, the string players of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra responded flexibly to the lively, tuneful scores. Every nuance was respected, and even if a little of the detail seemed fussy, the overall effect was delightful.
The highly regarded Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszeweski performed Haydn's Concerto in D.
Following 18th century practice he too dispensed with the conductor. He preferred to shape the orchestral accompaniment from the keyboard with gestures, nods, eye contact and body language. The unanimity he achieved was quite remarkable.
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Anderszeweski played on a full-sized concert grand. It was fascinating to hear just how he used it.
At times he produced the crisp, dry tone of the sort of instrument the composer had in mind more than 200 years ago.
On occasion, though, he revelled in the resonance of the modern piano, especially in the bass.
Purists might by tempted to raise objections, but the interpretation was entirely convincing.
The soloist's choice of instrument appeared even more justified in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1, with brass, woodwind and timpani augmenting the strings.
Amazingly dextrous, alternately tender and masterful, Anderszeweski made good use of his reserves of power.
Fiery and dramatic, he also knew how to make sure the orchestra shared all his passion.
The concluding Rondo swept along at a gallop. This was more than charming. It was inspiring, and the audience cheered.