Renowned French pianist to play ‘one-handed’ piece
A FRENCH pianist is to appear at Huddersfield Town Hall – playing a unique and historic ‘one-handed’ piece of music.
Award-winning Jean-Efflam Bavouzet joins the Orchestra of Opera North for Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D Major for the Left Hand.
The concert, Music of Consequence on January 24, is book-ended by major works from Wagner and Shostakovich.
The Concerto in D Major was commis- sioned from Ravel – best known for his mesmerising Boléro – by Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost his right arm in the First World War.
Wittgenstein, who insisted on exclusive lifetime performing rights for all the pieces written for him, gave its premiere in Vienna in 1932.
Jean-Efflam’s recording of the work for the Chandos label won awards from BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone, and he is recognised as one of the leading interpreters of the piece performing today.
Jean-Efflam said: “It is extremely difficult to make music with only one part of your body! Every pianist who starts learning this piece feels very odd, very strange.
“It’s extraordinary how the right hand, which does nothing, takes up such space in your brain as you learn it. You really want to express music with that hand as well, and you might even experience tension in it.
“So all of these things take a while to deal with, to be completely relaxed and concentrate on the left hand. But after this, when you play a piece for both hands, you feel enriched by all the new ability that your left hand has.”
The Concerto for Left Hand is followed by Shostakovich’s final symphony, the 15th, which opens with the enchanting “toyshop” sequence and its mischievous quote from Rossini’s William Tell Overture – and draws to a close with a more sombre reference to Tristan and Isolde. Conductor Christoph Altstaedt makes his Kirklees debut.
Tickets are £13-£27 for adults and £4 for 17-29-year-olds and £1 for under-16s.
To book contact the Box Office on 01484 225755 or visit www.kirkleestownhalls.co.uk.
Award-winning French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet