Day Two: Saturday May 2

From our Festival Reporter, Diana Brown

Wall-to-wall Beethoven Sonatas

When Sivan Silver was performing the last sonata of yesterday’s all-day Beethoven spree, the Opus 109, her four-year-old son trotted up to the stage at the end of the first movement. A ripple of amusement ran through the audience. She smiled indulgently and then got on with it, which just goes to show that concert pianists are not like the rest of us.

Day Two featured some well-established Australian pianists – Daniel de Borah, Anna Goldsworthy, Clemens Leske, Stephanie McCallum, Ian Munro and Arnan Wiesel – along with some overseas guests – Gil Garburg, Maria Mazo, Kotaro Nagano, Gabi Sultana. British fortepianist Nicholas Mathew is a visiting scholar at the ANU School of Music. It was an exciting day, with plenty of breathtaking pyrotechnics as well as some lovely, and very welcome, lyricism and restraint. One of the nice things about attending a festival, as opposed to a one-off concert, is that people in the audience start to look familiar. That leads inevitably to conversations about music, and as each interpreter brought something a little different to Beethoven, there were some lively discussions. Do you think X played the second movement too fast? Didn’t Y hold the whole thing together beautifully? Do you suppose there’s a defibrillator in the tent? (That was after Maria Mazo’s ‘Appassionata’, a performance in the flamboyant Russian style.) But it’s not only the patrons who are friendly. The performers are happy to chat too, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you get the chance. In my experience musicians love to talk about what they do. Music makers need music lovers. We’re in this together, after all.

Concert 4 was supported by Koula Notaras and Emmanuel Notaras; Concert 5 by Marjorie Lindenmayer, B2B and Capital Magazine; Concert 6 by Margaret Saboisky.

Off to jubilate with my beloved Bach and then immerse myself in more Beethoven.

– Diana Brown