Music at St Machar’s Cathedral.
Sonata Op.110: L. v. Beethoven (1770-
Hengyu Lu: Piano
Sunday March 5th 2023
A small but select audience warmly welcomed Henyu Lu, a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, to St Machar’s Cathedral on Sunday last. We were to hear a full recital of music by Beethoven, Medtner and Shostakovich.
Beginning with the penultimate sonata of Beethoven, from the very beginning Hengyu caught an intensely concentrated mood with the opening chords. This sonata is nothing but demanding, not only in technique but in control of piano resonance. With a beautifully limpid touch, especially for the many arpeggios in the work, Hengyu presented the whole sonata with clarity and grace – not perhaps the most obvious characters required of Beethoven, but absolutely right for this work. After the more bracing second movement – Allegro Molto, with notably well-
Nikolai Medtner was born in Russia, trained in Germany and lived in England for the last 15 years of his life. He is one of those frequently forgotten composer-
To end the recital, Hengyu chose to play the complete book of Shostakovich Preludes Op.34. These are all short pieces, following a pattern established by Chopin, of working through all the major and minor keys -
From the demands of Beethoven, through the virtuosity of the Medtner, to the deep understanding of the many sides of Shostakovich, Hengyu captured everything in a wonderfully rewarding recital which was warmly appreciated.
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