A Day at the Wigmore Hall

It’s unusual that we go to morning and afternoon concerts at the Wigmore Hall.   In the morning, we went to a concert by Melvyn Tan, the elfin Singaporean pianist, who was playing the fortepiano.   He started with a Beethoven piano sonata (opus 2, no. 3), which sounded unexpectedly eighteenth-century on a fortepiano.   He then played a sonata by Johann Gottfried Müthel, J.S. Bach’s last recorded pupil.   The score had been discovered in the Montagu music collection at Boughton, bought by Elizabeth, Duchess of Buccleuch, a keen amateur pianist, in the late eighteenth century and never played since.   He ended with more Beethoven (opus 31, no.3), played fortissimo.   In the afternoon, Iain Burnside accompanied two full voiced Russian opera singers, Ekaterina Siurina and Rodion Pogossov, in a programme of grand and gloomy Rachmaninov songs, wholly appropriate to the fin-de-siècle atmosphere of the Wigmore Hall (it was designed by Thomas Colcutt in 1901 for the piano makers Bechstein).

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