Kristian Bezuidenhout Plays Mozart and C.P.E. Bach in a Dazzling Fortepiano Recital

Photo by Marco Borggreve

For Kristian Bezuidenhout, the art of historically informed performance is no dry, academic exercise but a bold act of musical imagination. In an illuminating recital at the Phillips Collection on Sunday afternoon, the South African fortepiano specialist brought interpretive daring, expressive freedom and technical resourcefulness to a restless and fascinating exploration of the music of Mozart and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

The fortepiano offers musicmaking on an intimate scale. It has a lighter, mellower and more transparent sound than a modern Steinway, with more dramatic contrasts in color between registers. Playing a modern replica of an 1800 fortepiano by Johann Schantz, Bezuidenhout opened up a kaleidoscopic sound world, with seemingly endless variations of color, articulation and phrasing. His masterly command of the expressive possibilities of the instrument was allied with imaginative interpretive liberties and an operatic sense of timing and drama…

Read full review here (Washington Post, November 30, 2015)

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