United Kingdom Bach, Kodály: Miklós Perényi (cello) Wigmore Hall, London. 19.12.2016. (LB)
Bach – Cello Suite No.2 in D minor BWV 1008 (c.1720)
Kodály – Sonata for solo cello Op.8 (1915)
Miklós Perényi is one of the world’s great cellists, and for an hour at lunchtime today he and his cello dominated the stage of the Wigmore Hall, performing two unaccompanied works, composed approximately two hundred years apart.
First on the programme was Bach’s Second Suite in D Minor. This was as serene a performance as one could possibly imagine; an exhibition of consummate technical control, underpinned and resplendently magnified by supreme idiomatic sensitivity and thoughtful intellectual analysis, in the successful pursuit of the spiritual heart of the music.
Then, after a short break, followed Kodály’s Sonata for solo cello Op.8. This is a formidable and heroic composition in three movements and Miklós Perényi unleashed his unassuming and effortless virtuosity to devastating effect in the service of the music.
Technically outstanding throughout, Perényi’s performance accentuated the more poetic qualities of his compatriot’s contribution to the solo cello repertoire.
The enthusiastic and seemingly mesmerised audience was then treated to an enchanting encore of some more Bach, the Sarabande from the first Cello Suite in G major.
A student instrumentalist whom I spoke to afterwards remarked, “I absolutely loved the concert. Miklós was really brilliant; I have never heard anyone play like that!”
This really was music making of the highest order informed by uncommon wisdom and benefitting from total commitment. What a pity then that there were so many empty seats, and so few music students in the audience.
The concert will be available to listen to on BBC iPlayer for the next 28 days: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08580p0.