Mordecai Shehori’s pianistic vision reflects a unique physical and spiritual approach to music-making. He is an original thinker at the keyboard. He begins with the notion that the composer felt something while he was creating the piece. It’s important to understand this in order to convey an appropriate emotional experience as well as an aesthetic.
He’s been praised for “his control of the silences as well as his control of the notes”, although, as Mr. Shehori says, “they look the same on the page.” As he puts it, “the greatest actors can communicate emotional meaning even while they are silent on stage, and it is the emotional feeling that creates the atmosphere of a piece.” Indeed, in order to create the right spiritual effect in our hall and with our piano, Mordecai Shehori is arriving in Winnipeg two days before his recital.
Mr. Shehori provides us with a living connection to the great Vladimir Horowitz. As Mordecai told me, near the end of his life, Horowitz was preparing for a performance of a Mozart Concerto with Mordecai playing the orchestral reduction on a second piano (in New York’s Steinway Hall). They became friends and he spent many evenings at the Horowitz home. The final Horowitz recording was made at the residence, and Mordecai helped by turning pages at these sessions.
He saw Horowitz the day before he died (Nov. 5, 1989). A year later, he received a telephone call from Mrs. Horowitz (who was Toscanini’s daughter). She had just heard Mordecai performing on the radio and wanted to tell him how much she appreciated his playing. She told him that he was “the only pianist who learned from her husband but did not try to copy him.”
The major work in Mr. Shehori’s programme is the Beethoven Sonata No. 30, op 109. He will actually be recording it shortly after this recital. You might wish to listen to all or some of it by various pianists.
I suggest Claudio Arrau, in part because his signature is inside our Steinway. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX6-OBdcrmw
Programme: Lully Suite de pièces; Beethoven Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109; Chopin Bolero in A minor, Op. 19; Debussy Reflets dans l’eau, Image, Book1; Rachmaninoff Selections from Preludes and Études-Tableaux; Saint-Saëns/Liszt/Horowitz, Danse Macabre.
8pm Saturday, December 7 & 3pm Sunday, December 8
Gwen Hoebig & Karl Stobbe, violins; Dan Scholz, viola; Yuri hooker, cello; with Meredith Johnson, double bass.
Beethoven’s translation of his fourth piano concerto resulted in a fascinating atmospheric transposition of orchestral sound by a string quintet. This unpublished version was recently discovered and it now received its first Winnipeg performance, as does Chopin’s own chamber version of his second piano concerto. Also making a Winnipeg debut is the brilliant young Canadian pianist, Sheng Cai. With charismatic flair, he epitomizes the greatness of a romantic virtuoso “with bravura, lucidity, color and power” (Birmingham News). “He is a talent that puts Canada on the map.” (Barrie Examiner).
Programme: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major. Op. 58 Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, Schumann Toccata in C major, Op. 7, and two sonatas by Scarlatti (solo piano).
8pm Saturday, January 25
In reviewing Rustem’s Rachmaninoff Preludes, Gramophone was moved to quote Liszt’s immortal description of the virtuoso: “where everything is allowed to weep and sing and sigh.” No other pianist invites so many favourable comparisons to the legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter by the critics. Rustem Hayroudinoff is truly “a pianist out of the ordinary” (BBC Music Magazine). He’s from Russia by way of London, and flying in direct to make his Winnipeg debut.