The 19-year-old rising, former wunderkind Israeli pianist Yoav Levanon presided Saturday night time at a profit recital on behalf of the American Pals of the Israeli Philharmonic*, an establishment courting again to its 1933 debut of emigrees beneath Toscanini. Levanon, a Warner Classics artist who’s already busy with recitals and concertos in Europe and America, delivered his 40-minute bouquet of favorites, “Rhapsody to Rhapsody” earlier than a rapt viewers of about 75 within the banqueting corridor of Temple Kehilath Israel in Brookline.
Having listened to a few of his recordings of Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Schuman previous to the live performance—by which he confirmed super readability, subtlety, and management—I used to be excited to listen to Levanon. Whereas these traits didn’t persistently shine by means of in yesterday’s efficiency, particular moments of true genius emerged, and I’ll be following the evolution of his profession with curiosity.
The opener, Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (sure, that Hungarian Rhapsody), serendipitously included a cadenza by Rachmaninoff. Whereas the Liszt itself has after all been performed to loss of life—and certainly, this efficiency had perfunctory parts—the cadenza, with Rachmaninoff’s extra superior harmonic buildings, added sudden and welcome alternatives for rhythmic, and interpretive freedom. The distinctively Rachmaninoff sounds inspired Levanon to make the piece his personal.
The Chopin G Minor Ballade, which Levanon famous was Schumann’s favourite Chopin work, was my favourite of the set and appeared most suited to his type. The intro was virtually comically elongated—“virtually,” as a result of he one way or the other made it work. It’s not usually that performers adhere to the true definition of rubato; normally, they decelerate after which proceed at the usual tempo. Levanon really caught up! Even throughout what felt like essentially the most self-indulgent, drawn-out tangents by which one apprehensive that ahead progress would halt, he at all times returned the borrowed time.
From the start, the Rachmaninoff E-flat Minor Etude got here throughout as considerably uncontrolled. Certain, it accommodates parts of neuroticism, and it’s a sound inventive option to pursue an unhinged sound at instances, however one nonetheless must preserve it collectively sufficient to convey one thing coherent on timescales longer than a single phrase. As an illustration, in the course of the return of the preliminary theme—this time within the bass with the triplet chord figurations on high—the melody sank in a pedal-puddle of mud. To be truthful, although, the muddiness of the Boston/Kawai child grand’s bass registers and piercing, wood treble deserved a number of the blame. Might he have compensated extra or was the instrument past redemption?
The printed program ended with a solo piano association (arranger unidentified) of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. (Therefore “Rhapsody to Rhapsody.”) Whereas he appeared very a lot at dwelling with the piece and carried out with markedly extra assertiveness and readability than within the Rachmaninoff, he didn’t fairly discover the anticipated lilt or sufficiently savor the bluesyness.
After joking that he wouldn’t preserve leaving the room for curtain calls and making the viewers beg “as a result of we’re adults right here,” the assured and charming Franz Liszt epigone Levanon wanted no cajoling earlier than ending with three encores. The Rachmaninoff D Minor Etude started with dreamy delicacy and I want I didn’t have to say once more that the climax descended into mud once more—once more, I feel it was the piano. Earlier than his very quick and un-named second encore (Scriabin Album Leaf op. 45 no. 1), he quipped that the worth of issues doesn’t must be measured in size. Levanon’s final notes rang out in Liszt’s La Campanella, sadly struggling a lot from the piano’s ear-splitting treble and messy bass. When the music confined itself to shut registers, akin to initially, the articulation of repeated notes, spoke spot-on and crystal clear, so the next devolution into mud appeared decidedly the fault of the instrument. For those who skilled disappointment on the live performance, do your self a favor and permit Levanon’s glorious recording HERE to redeem him.
*The tour takes Levanon to New York, Boston, North Miami, Palm Seaside, Dallas, La Jolla, CA, Laguna Seaside, CA, and Phoenix
Leave a Reply