A Showcase of the Bluthner Piano

By Dr. Lisa Redpath – 

Breathtaking . . . Passionate . . . Exquisite . . . These are but a few of the words that can be used to describe the SCFPA concert entitled “A Showcase of the Blüthner Piano” (November 5/6, 2022). Evan Kory (piano), Juan Mejia (cello), Emily Chao (violin), Laura Cásarez (violin), and Rafael Lizama (viola) delivered world class performances that kept the audience rapt with joy and utterly mesmerized. As a veteran of the Boston music scene I can say with absolute certainty that this concert rivaled any performance that could be found on the east coast.

The repertoire was perfectly suited for the hall and, more importantly, the incorporation of the 1881 Blüthner grand piano. The piano’s designed tuning at A430 illuminated the lush sounds of the first two works on the program: Brahms’ Sonata in G Major for Violin and Piano – Vivace ma non troppo and Three Intermezzi for Piano. Both works fed the souls of the full-house audiences. It is likely that this piano’s vintage and design produced sonorities that Brahms’ himself had in mind while composing these pieces.

Similarly, the piano came alive when the string players joined Kory for Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major. The lower tuning brought out a depth of sound that isn’t typically heard in more standard, modern day settings. The use of this unique piano enhanced the performance of this quintet just as it had for the sonata and intermezzi. What a privilege it was to have experienced this rare and riveting musical opportunity.

Kudos to the SCFPA and to all of the performers for bringing the music to life in this special way. It is with heartfelt gratitude that I store this concert in my memory bank of treasured performances. Bravissimo!

Enjoy: Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major