Review: Simone Tavoni in Chichester

Simone Tavoni, Chichester Cathedral, June 25

Some concert programmes are themed, either loosely or very specifically, while others are apparently not. There is a game of Only Connect to be played in which a possible option is that what the pieces have in common is that they have nothing in common. Simone Tavoni’s set today comprised 13 pieces by 5 composers, taking the sonata as three movements, in about 45 minutes and provided a wide-ranging miscellany rather than any discernable unifying principle. Unless, of course, anybody found an answer that was beyond my ken.

Baldassare Galuppi’s Sonata no. 5, T27, required a light touch and was tidy and decorous. His dates were 1706-1785 but he’s more Mozart than Bach. Fame is a fickle thing, pace Andy Warhol, and where some become household names others have to wait until I reach, erm, late middle age before I’ve heard of them but in his case I’m glad I eventually did.

Immediately dreamier and lingering were the Trois morceaux poetiques, op. 42, by Moszkowski, moving up a couple of gears for the momento giojoso which I’m surprised to find the internet translating as ‘wonderful moment’ and not ‘playful momentum’ which is what it also was.

A proper change of mood, though, came with the heavier resounding of three of Rachmaninov’s  Études-Tableaux, op.39, which were, as one might expect, bigger in every dimension, rumbling and tumbling as if it were not only a different pianist but almost a different instrument one was hearing. Two of Chopin’s Four Mazurkas, op. 33, were more subdued than he sometimes is and led into Almeria from the Iberia by Albéniz in which one was invited to provide one’s own pictures, possibly of wide-angled panoramas, the surrounding landscape behind the moorish fortress and, I dare say, some nostalgia under big, starry skies.

A further Chopin Mazurka was carried over into the encore to complete a programme which brought out both the piano and the forte, Simone here providing more of the former which, even in the light of the grandiose Rach, seems to be his forte. As it were.   

David Green

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