Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 0°C

Search

Review: Dance Music, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings, 16 June

PUBLISHED: 16:33 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:33 19 June 2017

Pierre-Laurent Aimard performing at The Aldeburgh Festival. Photo: rob brimson

Pierre-Laurent Aimard performing at The Aldeburgh Festival. Photo: rob brimson

rob brimson

In a typically well-considered and constructed recital, the former festival director Pierre-Laurent Aimard built an evening around dance pieces from five composers covering two centuries – Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin and Bartok. Taking account of the symmetry of the human body and the pairing of people in many dances, the first half with composers in chronological order was followed by a second half following the same pattern. It proved both illuminating and satisfying.

Bach was represented by four dances common to his second and fifth French suites – Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue, the latter from the fifth suite providing one of the technical highlight of the evening with a superbly controlled and dynamic display of passage work from Aimard. Most of Schubert’s dances were waltzes and their rustic relative, landlers. They are generally short but collectively encompass a range of emotions – from unalloyed pleasure and exuberant vigour to wistful and unsettling reflection.

In contrast to Schubert, Schumann wrote no sets of dances but the waltz plays an important part in some of his piano competitions, notably Carnaval. Estrella made a particular impression with its dragging syncopation and the second half Valse noble and Valse allemande were models of polished elegance.

Chopin composed almost exclusively for the piano and the mazurka figures prominently in his oeuvre. Aimard chose examples from opp 24, 59 & 67 imbuing them with a strong flavour of the folk music of the composer’s native Poland. Folk music was a major interest of the Hungarian Bela Bartok and his often percussive and rhythmically driven works make good performance pieces. The Ostinato from Mikrokosmos was performed with energetic elan and brought the recital to an exhilarating conclusion.

Aimard again demonstrated his unerring ability to make musical points and connections without the use of words, instead using intelligent programme construction and pianism of the highest order.

Gareth Jones

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Turner Prize-winning artist’s exhibition at Firstsite expounds the fictional world of an Essex everywoman that inspired his ‘Taj Mahal on the Stour’.

Mark Edwards selects ten films with Christmas links that may surprise you.

THe World’s Most Expensive Presents on Channel 4 reveals what Britain’s billionaires will splash their cash on this Christmas

Mark Edwards talks award-winning Suffolk filmmaker Tom Shrapnel about family Christmases with his grandmother, screen legend Deborah Kerr.

The Ladykillers is one of British cinema’s golden classics – an Ealing comedy that appears to be rosy on the outside but as soon as you dig beneath the surface its humour is as black as coal. This Christmas Eastern Angles and Shanty Theatre have decided to give this dark caper movie a modern and a local make-over.

Tomorrow is your last chance to grab tickets for the annual Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times Christmas carol concert, which is raising money for a good cause in Ipswich.

Sean Anders’ serviceable comedy Daddy’s Home was one of 2015’s surprise box office hits.

Multi-platinum selling artist Craig David has been announced as the first act for next year’s Newmarket Nights.

If you haven’t sent Santa your Christmas list yet, pop tickets for this festive-fuelled fairytale on it first.

It’s not Christmas without a visit to Red Rose Chain’s The Avenue Theatre. We spoke to writer and director Joanna Carrick and actors Emma Swan, Darren Latham and Ryan Penny about The Elves and The Shoemaker.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24