Jonathan Fryer

Archive for October 19th, 2011

Gregorio Zanon at the Wigmore Hall

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 19th October, 2011

The Swiss Ambassador’s concert has become a much-loved feature of London’s diplomatic calendar and it is good that H.E. Anton Thalmann has carried the tradition through to its 13th year. As usual this evening there was a generous reception at the Residence before the 300+ guests ambled through the streets of Marylebone in the balmy autumn air to the Wigmore Hall. The performers this year were the cellist Lionel Cottet and the pianist Louis Schwizgebel-Wang. The first half of the programme was charming and safe: Betthoven’s Sonata in F major (op. 5, no. 1) and Schubert’s Lieder for cello and piano, arranged by the performers. But after the audience had been fortified by yet more Mauler Swiss sparkling wine, the second half was much more adventurous. There was the world premiere of the young Swiss composer Gregorio Zanon’s ‘…and still there is room to fill’, skating the line between melodious and atonal — actually the sort of music I was trying to write during my short stint at the Northern School of Music many years ago, only infinitely better. After that, Cottet and Schwizgebel-Wang really came into their own in a spirited rendition of Brahms’ Sonata No. 2 in F major (op. 99), though I have to say that for me the crowning glory of the evening was the encore: a brilliant, energetic rendition of Shostakovich. I hope they are invited back, but this time to play a more ambitious programme, especially of 20th Century Russian composers with whom they could let rip.

 

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