BEETHOVEN PLUS, 3 PHOENIX HALL, NEWTON DEE
Friday, 06 November 2015
Today we heard Beethoven’s sonatas no. 3 in E flat and no. 7 in C minor, along with two new companion pieces by Elspeth Brooke (b.1981) and Philip Ashworth (b. 1983). In the E flat major sonata the heroic piano part was magnificently played by Daniel Tong in a dizzyingly exciting performance. Elspeth Brooke’s Swoop was an exploration of the tonal possibilities of the key of E flat – or even just of the note E flat itself. To begin with, the tiny phrases seemed detached from one another, building gradually into meaningful and attractive melodic writing: an interesting and very personal approach to modernity.
Philip Ashworth’s Air had a romantic flavour, responding to the dark and turbulent mood of Beethoven’s sonata No. 7 in C minor. This great work was played by the duo with a sense of a real dramatic exchange between the two instruments, including moments of great warmth and humour as well as excitement and exhilaration.