Martin Roscoe joins Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra for Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor
20 Mar 2017
Peter Back previews this Sunday's concert featuring pianist Martin Roscoe
Martin Roscoe is quite simply one of the most admired and respected pianists of his generation. Equally at home in concerto, recital and chamber performances he describes himself as a musical all-rounder, or more specifically as 'a musician who plays the piano, rather than a pianist'. It is an interesting, typically self-effacing definition suggesting that his performances aim to serve the music and the composer’s intentions rather than imposing his own personality on either. On Sunday, as the guest of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, he will turn his flawless technique and musicianship to Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, a work held together by a pervading sense of joy that surges through the work from beginning to end, belying the alarming deterioration in the composer’s physical and mental health during the period of its composition. It was a work that was to influence both Grieg and Rachmaninov in the creation of their concerti for piano and orchestra.
Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth makes a welcome appearance on Sunday to bring the Philharmonic’s current season to a close with a performance of Alexander Scriabin’s Second Symphony. The heart of this glorious work is a sumptuously-coloured slow movement, while the finale achieves the universal appeal the composer aimed for with a triumphant march. The concert begins with Kodály’s Dances of Galánta, an orchestral evocation of the small Hungarian market town’s long established gypsy band, full of exciting rhythm and brilliantly colourful orchestration.
There is much to look forward to then in this, the final concert of the Brighton Philharmonic’s 92nd season. The Orchestra has maintained its high performance standards throughout with a wonderfully diverse programme of music. I look forward with eager anticipation to its 93rd season.