Andreas Klein – Germany’s leading pianist plays San Miguel
By Michael Pearl
German-born pianist Andreas Klein gives two recitals for Pro Musica, Saturday, March 15, at 5pm and Sunday, March 16, at 4pm, St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo 6. Klein has distinguished himself as a dynamic and compelling performer, with his command of a wide range of tonal colors and imaginative interpretations. The New York Times declared him, “A fascinating artist with all the indispensable qualities: temperament, taste, touch, tone, the four Ts of pianism” and “A pianist who makes silences sound like music.” Klein is a graduate of the Juilliard School and complemented his studies with the legendary Claudio Arrau.Concert Pro Musica concert series Catalyst Quartet Sat, Mar 15, 5pm & Sun, Mar 16, 4pm St. Paul’s Church Cardo 6 100/200/300 pesos
Klein’s career as soloist has taken him to the world’s most prestigious venues from London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, to Washington DC’s Kennedy Center. In Europe, as well as in the US, Mexico and the Middle East, he has gained critical acclaim for his performances.
The Berlin Tagesspiegel raved about his Mozart Piano Concerto KV 459, with the legendary Berlin Philharmonic, saying “humorous flamboyancy and impeccable technique, grace, melodious sound and plenty of brilliance.” Klein was the first pianist to premiere and record Mendelssohn’s Concerto in A minor.
Klein tours the US regularly and The Washington Post recently wrote of his “articulate and flowing pianism” in response to his performance at the Kennedy Center with the Swiss Lucerne Festival Strings. The Dusseldorf, Grevenboicher Zeitung wrote of a recent performance, “a superb command of his technique, the loud passages were never aggressive, his tonal colors were limitless, his scales always sparkled. Most gripping and impressive were his huge dynamic range; his control to produce a flawless shading down to a barely audible sound was breathtaking.”
He brought the house down at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City with two contrasting works—Wagner’s Wanderer Fantasy and the Italian Concerto by Bach. At Mexico’s International Piano Festival and the Festival Paiz in Guatemala, his recitals received high acclaim. The Prensa Libre stated, “Maestro Andreas Klein’s impeccable execution, his excellent sense of voicing—a rare caliber of musician.” At the Ravenna Festival, he received two standing ovations.
Saturday’s program includes Bach’s wonderful Italian Concerto, a wonderfully spirited work brimming with joy. The composer combines all his brilliance at the keyboard with a sense of fun, with the presto a test of supreme pianistic technique.
Beethoven’s Sonata in F major is quixotic at every turn and the speedy key and mood changes reflect his unpredictable temperament. Always balking convention, Beethoven pulls off a great trick for the presto, turning the final movement into a boisterous fugue.
Completing the evening is Mussorgsky’s seminal Pictures at an Exhibition, which takes us on a sound tour inside the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg. The pictorial display features ten mini-masterpieces of scenes painted by Viktor Hartmann, from which Mussorgsky has created the most magical mystery tour.
Sunday’s concert brings color and romance with Chopin’s beautiful Ballade No. 1, reflecting the composer’s loneliness while living in Vienna at age 19. It has a majestic opening before a series of stridently daring key changes. Robert Schumann noted that the piece “seemed to be a work closest to Chopin’s genius.”
The feast continues with Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas. The rhythms and textures in the first dance conjure up an old herdsman. The left hand plays only black notes; the right hand white ones. The second dance evokes a beautiful maiden, while tensions rise and fall.
The final dance vividly brings to life its title— “Dance of the Arrogant Cowboy.” Lots of fury and wild abandon create a cacophony of dissonance and dramatic jubilance punctuated by fortissimo volume; it is music madness that is delicious to the ear.
Calm returns with Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C minor, six pieces of song-like music, which encompass melancholy, vitality and boldness. Beethoven is again on the program with his Piano Sonata No 1, a wholly satisfying work in its grand array of expressive styles and exciting tempi that celebrate the joy of life, and as lyrical as anything from the Romantic era that followed. The sonata reaches a joyous climax, brilliantly obliterating everything, except the happiness of being alive.
Tickets for Andreas Klein concerts, Saturday, March 15, 5pm & Sunday, March 16, 4pm, at 100/200/300 pesos donation each, are available at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública, Insurgentes 25; Solutions, Mesones 57; La Conexión, Aldama 3; daily until 2pm on Saturday, and at the door half an hour before the concert begins.
The quality of the music and opera Pro Musica brings to San Miguel, our unique Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason program, teaching music in underprivileged schools in the campo, and our work in the city’s orphanages, costs increasing amounts of money to provide. The best way to help us fund our activities is to become a Patron Member. Patron membership costs as little US$100 per year, is US tax deductible, and includes many benefits, such as complimentary concert tickets and Meet the Artists suppers and cocktail parties. For information on all of Pro Musica’s concerts for the 2013-2014 season and Patron Membership, please visit our website: promusicasma.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.