Explorations, Barbican, review: 'riveting'

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Friday May 23, 2014


Explorations, Barbican, review: ‘riveting’
By: Ivan Hewett

It struck that familiar note of boundaries being blurred, which was part of the series’ appeal. But that quality can slip into a self-indulgent stretching of ideas, where music-making gives way to mere “atmosphere”. That was my problem with the selections from Timo Andres’s Shy and Mighty for two pianos, played on Sunday by Andres himself and David Kaplan. They started intriguingly but were exasperatingly over-extended. It was a relief when Brad Mehldau came on stage to play his own ‘Variations on a Melancholy Theme’. These were beautifully shaped, and full of musical echoes. Americana, jazz and Bartók flitted across the scene, but the form was so taut and beautifully shaped that it all hung together.

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