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Trpčeski gives stunning performance

18 November 2016

The much-anticipated piano recital given by Macedonian concert pianist Simon Trpčeski took place in the Octagon on Wednesday 9 November.  Mr Trpčeski had agreed to perform at Edgbaston High School despite a gruelling concert schedule which has seen him perform six different concerti and several recital programmes in the past month alone.  He feels passionately that artists should perform in schools as the experience is so valuable for young people.

Mr Trpčeski had chosen a programme of great technical difficulty including a new piano transcription of the orchestral Fantasy, Scheherazade, Op. 35 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.  His performance of the great work was, in fact, his first ever public performance of this piece. 

The recital began with a set of different miniatures by the French composer Francis Poulenc.  Mr Trpčeski chose to play the 3 Novelettes, Improvisations and Toccata with no break in between as he felt these individual pieces worked well as a combined set, an unusual undertaking but one which was extremely effective.  The lyrical reflection of Novelette no. 3 contrasting with the many different moods of the Improvisations and concluding with the virtuosic Toccata demonstrated a wide-ranging pallet of different timbres and textures and, of course, the artist’s brilliant technique.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s great orchestral work based on the Arabian Nights formed the main part of the evening’s recital.  Korsakov became famous for his dazzling orchestration and with this in mind Mr Trpčeski had a terrific challenge on his hands.  The orchestral textures were beautifully achieved, from the wistful solo violin lines to the virtuosic trumpet and percussion parts, all were brilliantly demonstrated.  This was a virtuoso tour de force from start to finish, a masterclass in musicianship and an experience that all who witnessed will certainly never forget.

Following a lengthy standing ovation by the near 400-strong audience, Mr Trpčeski returned to the stage to perform ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ (arr. Pletnev) which he generously dedicated to the girls of EHS.

Mr K Robson
Director of Music

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