Renowned French pi­anist to play ‘one-handed’ piece

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - News - By MARTIN SHAW [email protected]­plc.com @Mart­inShawWRNS

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

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