Grigory Sokolov, Russian pianist great, was performing his yearly recital at the TCE. This time he had selected works by Mozart and Schumann, in a programme cleverly and carefully built. As always, he was playing with almost no light, totally focused, captivating the audience.
Carefully built programme indeed: Mozart’s Sonata No.16 in C major (astounding Allegro and Andante), then move to “C minor” with the fantastic Fantasia (with its funeral atmosphere and the feeling of an imminent tragedy) and Sonata No.14 in C minor (wonderful tragic Molto allegro and consoling Adagio, 1st movements of a work which heralds Beethoven and his Sonata “Pathétique“), played without a pause.
The 2nd part of the programme moved back to “C major” with Schumann’s Arabeske and his Fantasie, also played without a break, and performed to perfection.
Sokolov played magnificently a series of encores: 5 of the 6 Moments Musicaux by Schubert (only the 1st one was missing), and Chopin’s Mazurka op. 30 No.2!
Sokolov is able to switch from a furious fortissimo to a tender pianississimo which seems to come from another world in just a second, with disconcerting ease. The TCE audience knows he is a true master and gave him a “standing ovation”.
I’m desperately hoping to see him release an album of pieces by Couperin, as he dazzled me when he played a selection years ago, the 1st time I attended one of his concerts.