The final Auckland concert in Part One of the Beethoven reCYCLE series has been passionately and poetically captured for us by piano student Cindy Xia…
Tonight I am awake, wide awake. It is a different kind of awake though; it’s trance-like. I hear the intense clarity of the dotted rhythmic motif in No. 5 in C minor first movement, the serenading of the second movement and the delighted runs in the last. The beautiful Allegro in G major sparkles, the Andante is quaint and generates murmurs of delight in its last chord, anticipating the joke of the Scherzo.
There is an orchestra hiding under the stage that brings forth every musical texture and harmonies in No. 22 in F. And lastly in great ‘Hammerklavier’ I am taken to a bizarre yet beautiful landscape within Beethoven’s mind; so transfixed is the chamber at the ethereal ending of the third movement that there is a rather amusingly unified shuffling of bottoms immediately afterwards.
Beethoven sonatas aren’t easy to play and I think I can testify for most piano students. I think there is a point in every pianist’s life when you stop playing Beethoven sonatas and you experience them.
The notes, the expectations, the musicality become grace, struggle, comedy, tragedy and astounding beauty.
Michael has certainly given us a glimpse of it tonight, remaining unobtrusive and unassuming through the concert and yet managing to hypnotize an entire 400-strong room of people into understanding the thoughts and passions of a brilliant, mad, deaf man.
As young piano students, we all dream that one day we too can have that magic. Thank you Michael Houstoun for a terrific concert.
– Cindy, 22.04.13