BEETHOVEN CONCERT 11 of 40: Guided all the time by Michael’s steady hand & confident keyboard mastery

Today’s blogger just so happens to be the grandmother of CMNZer, Candice de Villiers. Meg Freeman was ever so kind as to share her experience of the 2nd BEETHOVEN reCYCLE concert in Auckland…


Meg Freeman with her granddaughter and CMNZ staff member, Candice de Villiers

Meg Freeman with her granddaughter and CMNZ staff member, Candice de Villiers

Michael Houstoun has reached the pinnacle of excellence in his rendering of the great master yet seems to do it so effortlessly.

Beethoven sonatas certainly do take the listener into the realm of pure imagination.  I found myself closing my eyes and being transported onto another sphere – it was magical, entrancing – pure bliss.

His mastery of the instrument and his understanding of the composer seem to have joined in some magical way that leaves the listener in awe of the whole experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed the talk before the show – it brought us that much closer to Beethoven and his thought process.

When listening to the Tempest I let my imagination take me on a journey – a journey on a sailing ship of long ago – the first movement is dramatic and I could imagine the little ship being tossed about in the heavy seas – then just when I thought all was lost, a calm descended and the ship  went into more tranquil waters, only to have a further buffeting before finally sighting land and safety with a huge crescendo.  It was a wonderful experience and a wonderful journey – guided all the time by Michael’s steady hand and confident keyboard mastery.

I had every confidence that he would take us safely to shore.

During the concert Michael apologised for the technical “glitch” on Friday night – something went awry with the piano and he couldn’t play the final piece.  As so many of the Friday night audience were there on Saturday, he said he would play movements of the Waldstein sonata that he had been unable to on Friday. This he did.

He had a standing ovation and after leaving the stage several times he returned to play the final two movements of the Waldstein as an encore which was, to my mind, the best piece of the whole day.  It was enchanting – for me it could have gone on at infinitum.

We are so fortunate to have such a talented “home-grown Kiwi” prepared to live in our midst, and not be spirited away to some far-off land.

May he continue to bring us pleasure in the years to come.

– Meg, 21.04.13

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