I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman

Volodos in Brussels

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Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata #16 in A minor, D. 784
Johannes Brahms: 3 Intermezzi, Op. 117
Franz Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178

Arcadi Volodos, piano
Brussels, Centre for Fine Arts, 11 October 2011

With the previous week’s media attention and box-office success of Lang Lang fresh in mind, the concert hall in the Brussels’ Bozar/Centre for Fine Arts looked sadly empty with only two-thirds of the seats taken for the Arcadi Volodos recital. While 39-year old Volodos is at least as much the jaw-dropping technician, we know he doesn’t come to town with the extra-musical gigs that the Chinese superstar package contains. And even if his pianism doesn’t eschew the occasional bit of ostentation either, it hasn’t become oddball. Volodos’ stage manner is unassuming and ritualistically simple. After each piece he can be seen standing behind the piano, arms crossed in front, sharing a timid but content smile and a stiff bow. All through the concert stage and piano remain in pure Sviatoslav Richter-style sparsely lit while the hall is bathing in darkness. But it is Volodos who sheds the light for the evening with his playing, or rather the light in all its shades ranging from solar brightness to abysmal darkness.
Read the full review on Classical Net

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