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Candotti shows her prize-winning qualities

The eighth online recital from Hastings International Piano last Friday was given by Michelle Candotti, a prize-winner in the 2013 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, writes HOT’s music correspondent Brian Hick.

Dressed in black, Michelle Candotti sat at her piano distanced from the camera, almost silhouetted within a pure white studio. It was a very striking image and worked perfectly for her chosen programme.

She opened with Liszt’s Paraphrase on Ernani which draws on music Verdi used in Act 3 of his opera. Liszt sticks closely to the original melodic lines here, so that the source is more obvious than in some other paraphrases, and the lyrical underpinning shines through easily below the florid runs.

She followed this with J S Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 885, from volume 2 of the Well-Tempered Clavier. We have heard surprisingly little from the pre-classical repertoire in this series, so it was very good to hear this fine piece of Bach sandwiched between two more romantic works. Candotti’s playing was starkly abstract, almost unemotional in its impact, with a fine sense of clarity and balance throughout.

She concluded with Chopin’s Etude Op 10, No 8 in F major. Nicknamed the Sunshine, it is full of life and wonderfully fanciful running arpeggios. The melody is somewhat buried in the left hand but she managed to balance the whole so well that we never lost the sense of where the music was going. It is a remarkably short work and certainly left us wanting more.


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Posted 17:43 Monday, May 11, 2020 In: Music & Sound

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