Alicja Fiderkiewicz

St. Mary's Church, Perivale, 5th October 2021

There were once a series of recitals in the Festival Hall with Polish pianists who would play simply and beautifully with weight and extraordinary legato. I am thinking of Malcuzinski, Niedzielski, Askenase, Smeterlin and the Prince of them all Artur Rubinstein.

Since then we have been astonished by the subtle half lights of the Russian school as personified by the appearance in the 1970s of Richter and all that followed in his footsteps .But it was Richter who so admired Rubinstein for his ‘good old concert cantabile’ and with whom he became a very close friend.

It is a style of playing and projecting the sound that is hard to hear in the concert hall these days. Gilels was the only Russian who could project that golden sound with simplicity and beauty.

It is this sound that we were treated to today by Alicja Fiderkiewicz in a recital of such simplicity and beauty that reminded me of the concerts I once heard as a child.

Kinderszenen was played in brilliant sunlight with a radiance and beauty that was touchingly direct. Even the McLeod Dances could well have been Mazurkas such was the same nationalistic nostalgia and celebration.

Four Preludes by Chopin were played with aristocratic poise with both delicacy and passion.

I had no idea that Chopin had arranged the Larghetto for solo piano .I have heard the one with string quartet but this was every bit as beguiling.

The Barcarolle is Chopin’s absolute masterpiece and together with Beethoven’s fourth concerto the greatest works for piano.

An outpouring of song from beginning to end was given a memorable performance that had Dr Mather cheering from the front row as we were at home.

Performances from the great Polish school of simplicity and aristocratic beauty that was so refreshing to be reminded of.

A memorable recital.

Christopher Axworthy
https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2021/10/05/alicia-fiderkiewicz-at-st-marys/

Here is the link to the HD version (for a limited time) https://youtu.be/gTECy62p6UM