Saturday, March 30, 2013

Timo Andres at Rex Salon

Photo credit: Mingzhe Wang
This week I heard pianist & composer Timo Andres perform in a Salon at the Rex. He opened with his composition At the River, a sizable piece lasting about 15 minutes. In the first part, his right hand played incessantly rippling notes in the middle of the keyboard while the left hand interspersed short notes at the extreme ends. The 2nd part was slower & chordal.

After briefly speaking to the audience, Mr. Andres played Schumann's Waldszenen with efficiency & familiarity. He has long slim fingers, & in the most rapid passages his hands became blurs. He often used the pedal to create smears. The Schumann was paired with 2 short movements from his own It takes a long time to become a good composer, which features percussive & fragmentary bits of chords & arpeggios. The ending was abrupt.

The Three Mazurkas by Adès were brief and had a dance-like feel. There were a lot of cascading notes, short notes, & notes at the extremes of the keyboard.The third mazurka had a dark, mysterious atmosphere. These were paired with Chopin's Polonaise Fantasie, which Mr. Andres played with a halting feel that made it sound like another Adès piece. He made a very big sound with the double trills, & the audience laughed at the quick release he made on the final chord.

Salon at the Rex photo IMG_20130327_181423_zpsf1b58f44.jpgThe salon audience was appreciative & made many complimentary comments during the Q&A following the hour-long recital. Mr. Andres described At the River as an homage to minimalist composers & said It takes a long time to become a good composer was "disintegrated Schumann." Someone asked if the popped-in high notes in At the River were meant to be programmatic, & Mr. Andres replied that they were there for resonance & because "they sounded good."

Mr. Andres read his music off an iPad, though he seemed to have much of the program memorized. He was also featured in a San Francisco Performances concert in Herbst on Friday, which similarly paired his music with Schumann.

§ Timo Andres, piano
Salon at the Rex

At the River (2010) -- Andres (b. 1985)

Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), Op. 82 -- Schumann (1810-1865)

from It takes a long time to become a good composer -- Andres (b. 1985)
    2. Everyone wants to be something they're not or,
            Pierrot on 88th St.
    4. Please let me sleep in your entrance hall or,
            Pantalon & Columbine

Three Mazurkas, Op. 27 -- Ades (b. 1971)

Polonaise Fantasie -- Chopin (1810 - 1849)

Wednesday, March 27, 6:30pm
Hotel Rex

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