24 February, 2009

Concert Review: Sergio Tiempo Recital

Feb 21, 2009, CH
Sergio Tiempo Recital

Official Website

Sergio Tiempo is a young pianist who travels in the inner circle of Martha Argerich (which also includes sister Karin Lechner). I have had generally favorable impressions of his recordings, particularly those from the annual Lugano Festival's "Martha Argerich and Friends" (EMI). And so I had high hopes for this recital, which were unfortunately not realized.

The opening Bach Partita No. 1 was a curious affair. There was absolutely no line to speak of, but neither was it pulled around to make a romantic point. The piece just sounded plainly chaotic. The ensuing Haydn Sonata No. 50 fared better.

Just when I thought this pianist would like to pull things around, he lauched into a ferocious and coarse (but straightforward) Chopin "Revolutionary" Etude, Op 10/12. The three etudes from Op 25 that followed were played straightforwardly but with good sensitivity, attention to details and impressive legato.

After the interval, Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit was again rather literal. Here, despite the smooth playing, for my taste there was not enough differentiation between the three pieces. Ondine lacked a tingling sensation and Scarbo was too tame. Three of Ginastera's Argentinian Dances were nicely delivered. Concluding the recital were two Liszt pieces. The Consolation No. 3 was nicely turned. The Mephisto Waltz No. 1 is not a piece I like but his rendition was tasteful.

All in all, a mixed bag despite some impressive playing. If I remember correctly, the program had been changed. The originally programmed Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 I think would suit this pianist, and I regret the change.

I also wonder how he fared in Chopin's Concerto No. 1 on Feb 24.

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