BBC Proms 2016 / 71: Trifonov plays Mozart Piano Concerto No.21 with Dresden Staatskapelle

My energy levels have sapped. I think it’s because the Proms is coming to an end. It’s not that I want to hasten their end, it’s just that I suppose I’m quite looking forward to them coming to end. All good things come to an end so that we can appreciate their absence and then their subsequent return.

The lack of energy may also something to do with Prom 71. I haven’t been quite so gung-ho about the prospect of getting to grips with Bruckner’s symphonies. Yes, his sixth was far more engaging than his fourth, but I’ve failed before the end of the first movement with Symphony 3 played last night by the Dresden Staatskapelle. I bowed out. Switched it off. Abandoned it. Shock horror:  I didn’t feel guilty either.

Trifonov’s Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 was a far more engaging listening, in part because of the ambitious approach he took to the almost schizophrenic cadenza in the final movement – smatterings of Rachmaninov and, I’m fairly certain, hints of Gershwin too which seemed to take the work in a whole different direction.

But it was also the rare moment of jeopardy in the first movement which grabbed my attention. For sixty seconds there felt like piano and orchestra were distinctly out of step with one another.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rubbing my hands together with glee at that – I don’t revel in others misfortune. Instead, it was a timely reminder of how fragile a live performance can be and perhaps of the extent to which we take it for granted too. More to the point, it was a gripping demonstration of how professionals can get things back on track.



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