This was a breathtaking musical experience with two of the brightest stars in the music firmament.
Krysia Osostowicz impressed immediately with her graceful platform style. Her musical pedigree includes study at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Cambridge University and in Salzburg with Sandor Vegh. She founded the award-winning Dante Quartet, is director of the Dante Summer Festival and a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Daniel Tong is a teacher, writer and festival director. He has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, is founder of Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival and of the Winchester Chamber Music Festival.
He is also head of piano chamber music at Birmingham Conservatoire and teaches piano at Birmingham University.
The programme was titled the Beethoven Plus Project following the pair’s invitation to ten composers to write a five-minute companion piece inspired by, and perhaps including a phrase or two from, one of the sonatas.
Beethoven’s Sonata No.1 formed the basis for Ludwig Games by Jonathan Dove, a work full of variety in mood, tempo and tone with very dramatic effects. Osostowicz and Tong showed great rapport performing almost as one.
The piece gave Tong an opportunity to showcase his remarkable talent in the variations as well as in Sonata No. 1 with all its own changes of mood and style.
Beethoven’s Sonata No.4 provided raw material for composer Judith Bingham’s variation, The Neglected Child, inspired by a comment that it was the neglected child among the sonatas.
The great Kreutzer Sonata inspired the Tarantella Furiosa Op. 47 by Matthew Taylor. It certainly did reflect the hugely energetic Kreutzer to which Osostowicz and Tong did full justice, again playing as one. It was remarkable to experience two performers so totally in tune with one another.
Darlington and Stockton Times, Irene MacDonald