The award winning classical pianist Giuseppe Guarrera gave a masterclass in piano dynamics when he played for an attentive Lichfield audience at The Hub at St Mary’s.
With a programme that included Bach, Chopin, and Prokofiev, this was not going to be an evening of relaxation.
The acoustics at St Mary’s showed the music of to a beautifully high standard, moving as it did from the thoughtful opening moments of Bach’s Chaconne Partita No 2 in D Minor, to the pieces more flamboyant chordal parts.
Prelude and Norturne for the Left Hand Alone by Alexander Scriabin was a masterclass in piano and pedal control, and the full range of a pianist’s left hand, using partial chords, dynamic after-thoughts and a few notes to summon up a feeling of melancholia.
The more familiar Polonaise – Fantasy in A flat Major Op 61 by Chopin showed a lyrical deftness and a mastery of the form, so that both the formal elements of the piece and its more free form moments showed a cohesive tension.
Maurice Ravel’s music also featured, with three pieces from Miroirs, painting a soundscape of nature, with extensive use of eddying waves of sound and a discernible amount of humour.
The musical heavy-lifting of the evening though was the final piece, Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No7 in B Flat, Op 83. One of the war sonatas, the difficult, brooding, atonal opening painting a picture of confusion, while the second movement was more romantic and tuneful, but it too had its moments of discord, before the piece climaxes in more of jazz mood, with a 7/8 time signature.
The Hub has programmed many more classical concerts into its new season, and it is a fine venue to see talented performers in an intimate setting.