There are some remarkable pianists rather little-known, only their peers and people in the know are aware of them. Quite often because they have spent most of their time teaching or have not opted for an international soloist life. Great masters like Jean Martin, Ventsislav Yankoff, Fou Ts’ong, Pierre Sancan or Jean Hubeau. Or Henri Barda. The French pianist, born in Cairo in 1941, performed in recital, salle Gaveau.
He began the concert with some of Brahms late pieces, Intermezzi op. 117 and Klavierstücke op. 118. Special mention goes to the 1st and last of the Intermezzi, and for the last 2 Klavierstücke. Barda’s Brahms is direct and powerful.
Then he played Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales and Le tombeau de Couperin. What remarkable colours and technique! The Fugue of the Tombeau was a special moment, with Barda showing Ravel so close to the spirit of Couperin and Rameau.
The programme was ending with different works by Chopin (Barcarolle, Impromptu, Waltz and Mazurkas). Specific mention to Mazurkas op. 63 No. 2 & 3 and Waltz op. 42.
Henri Barda came back to play 2 encores, a remarkable rendition of Chopin’s Berceuse and a wonderful version of Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata K87/L33.