Tuesday, May 21

Spyros Souladakis performing Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto

This was yesterday in Athenaeum, a nice concert hall in Athens. The idea was to perform two well-known piano concerti in a transcription for piano and a string quartet. Spyros Souladakis chose to play Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto in C minor. (I played Schumann's Concerto). "Kochlias" String Quartet played the orchestral part. 
Let me first say that, for some reason, the Beethoven transcription was not, in my view, very succesful. Maybe this is due to the fact that Beethoven is an "orchestral" composer, that is, he has a full orchestra in his mind when composing and, therefore, it is not easy to transcribe a full score for just four instruments. (This is not the case with other composers, like Chopin and Schumann). 
Souladakis from his very first notes (the well known C minor scale) established a well-balanced Beethovenian sound; and he kept it till the end. Apart from his technical excellency (shown particularly in the cadenza of the 1st movement), one could easily discern that he had worked very hard on his sound, and this was mostly apparent in the Second Movement (Largo) - one of the most musical and lyrical themes ever composed by the great German composer. Souladakis's tempo in the Largo was (in my view) the slowest one can take; but he managed to bring out the melodic qualities really well, and without turning the music into romantic music - which is a great danger here! 
His Rondo was light and brillante, and was well accompanied by the String Quartet. I think, I would prefer it to be just a bit faster. 
This was Spyros's first performance of this work and the result was impressive!

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