Tuesday, April 3

Danae Kara Recital: Beethoven, our Contemporary

This was a couple of weeks ago, and I am really glad I managed to go. (It's not so easy any more!)  Danae Kara chose to play a Beethoven recital and this put me off when I first saw the programme: Beethoven (I am sorry to admit!) is a composer I find hard to come to terms with, in particular his late works.  But Danae made a fine selection of works, covering all the periods of his life: from his early years (Sonata in F minor), to his middle period ("Moonlight") and at the end his last sonata, a work that seems to already belong to the romantic era. 

If that had been the programme, I would have found it unbearably heavy (mainly due to my feelings for the composer!). But Danae cleverly inserted short and light works in between the sonatas: Bagatelles and Valses.  And she finished with the charming Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio in G major, Op. 129, a work that is better known by the sub-title "Rage Over a Lost Penny" (from the German: Die Wut über den verlorenen Groschen).  (In fact this sub-title was invented by Anton Schindler, not by Beethoven.)

So, in the end, this was (if I may say so) a "non-lecture recital"!  I mean, there was an educational point to be made here (the recital, after all, took place in a school): a musical exploration of the music of the great German composer. For a pianist like myself, this programme is of enormous difficulty - I don't think I could ever face such a challenge! Beethoven, (personal feelings aside!) is a difficult composer... 

Kara's playing was, as usual, fluid and refined.  I admired her undiminished concentration, her effort to bring out all the details of this most demanding music.  I particularly warmed to her interpretation of the famous für Elise, which was, literally, as if I was hearing it for the first time! 

Looking forward to Danae's next recital!

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