Friday, 11 March 2011

Home Piano Recital by AZARIAH TAN

Fourth year Conservatory student Azariah Tan gave a short but ambitious piano recital at a private home in the Cairnhill/Orchard Road area on Friday 11 March 2011. Opening his recital was J.S.Bach little Prelude and Fugue in C major (from WTC Book 1) taken with a Romantic slant. His way with Chopin was always one of lyrical fantasy, demonstrated in the E major Étude (Op.10 N0.3) and the B flat minor Nocturne (Op.9 No.1). This was followed by two very different Debussy Préludes (from Book 1), La fille au chevaux de lin and Minstrels, revealing both sensitivity and humour.

The restored 83-year-old Grotrian Steinweg was given a thorough run-out in the first movement of Australian composer Carl Vine's Sonata No.1. Azariah said a few prefatory words, preparing the audience for the veritable whirlwind which swept the keyboard. He revelled in its prestidigitation and infectious rhythms, but it was his handling of the quiet and softer moments that held the greatest resonance.

After a short interval, Azariah performed a Prélude by Rachmaninov (op.23 No.6) before launching into the passionate surges of Schumann's Fantasy in C major (Op.17). Playing only the first two movements, there was both depth and breadth to his interpretation. Colouring was paramount and after the sound and fury of the 1st movement, the quote from Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte sounded ever so welcoming. The second movement's tour de force was taken confidently even if he missed some notes in the most treacherous passages. No problems though with those crazy leaps. Do try and catch the complete Vine and Schumann at his Final Senior Recital at the Conservatory on 20 April!

Big-hearted as always, Azariah donated the honorarium for this recital to Very Special Arts (VSA) Singapore. Like the musicians of the Orchestra of the Music Makers, Azariah Tan is one of those very special people who pursues his art for the benefit of society and mankind.

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