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Jean Paul Gasparian 2013 HIPCC Photograph by Alexander Brattell 07767 611388

‘Gently Intimate’ evening with Jean Paul

HOT music correspondent Brian Hick enjoyed an evening of romantic and reflective, then intense, piano music in the sixteenth online concert featuring prizewinners in Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

Jean Paul Gasparian, a prize winner in the 2013 Hastings International Piano Concerto at the age of 17, gave us a gently intimate recital from his studio, lined with CDs and Music Books.  His introduction had clearly been recorded earlier as he was clean shaven and had shorter hair, whereas he performed in near flowing locks and a healthy growth on his chin!

He opened with two Mazurkas by Chopin – Op30 Nos 1 & 2. If the second is rather more extrovert than the first they are both warmly seductive in their ambience and brevity.

Rachmaninoff‘s Prelude Op23  No4 was composed in 1903 as one of a set of ten. It seemed a natural progression from the Chopin works as it was equally romantic and reflective, even if more complex texturally and in terms of its development.

Scriabin’s Fantasy Op28 was written in 1900 and proved to be the most substantial work of the concert. The composer was going through something of a dry patch at the time but one would not know it from the late romantic yearning he creates here, even with the extended sonata form of the work as a whole. There is a sense of a rumbling under-current which might erupt at any time yet manages to stay just under control. Jean Paul Gasparian handled the tension this creates with great skill and kept us alive to the possibilities of the work even as it came to its fine conclusion.

The whole concert was shorter than many recent contributions but none the less very welcome. My only minor concern was what happened to the bust of Beethoven between the introduction and the performance?!

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Photo: Alexander Brattell (07767 611388) taken at White Rock Theatre 2013


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Posted 17:21 Monday, Jul 6, 2020 In: Music & Sound

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