Kiwi SOLOists—Are You Ready for Freddy? :-)

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2017-09-13 05:17

I have it on the very best authority possible that this programme has come together splendidly and will be "great." Kicks off in Napier tomorrow, Thursday. I shall be catching up with the very best authority possible in person on Sunday:


The programme was six

Sam Pierson's picture

The programme was six selections for piano & orchestra beginning with Handel & signing off with Gershwin. I don't know if this has been done before, but it's a great idea. We get to hear the development of the form; like watching an acorn become an oak, or a chummy chimp become a man. No way is it academic. It's a pleasure-trip, from stream to river to sea. And when we wrap up on Gershwin - after the longing & searching of the second movement of the Rach 2 - it felt like we'd arrived at home port, alight & twinkly & generally very pleased with ourselves.

That Kempf is a wizard, we already knew. This druid-in-chief can walk & chew gum at the same time. But he's up to something here & knows what he's doing, beyond the piano keys & his loyal band of tooters & scrapers. He led the superb NZSO & we, the audience, on a sort of tour over the tip of an iceberg. Not too much, not too little, with an overall upward trajectory & his trademark, faithful emotional clarity. Crowd-pleasers all. To be able to switch between, & deliver on, the emotional requirements of each piece is remarkable. The band looked to be enjoying themselves, and the brief spoken introductions to each piece added some useful context. Kempf as usual, looked always & only on serious duty, seeing the mission right.

He's onto something with this approach. Great stuff.

Pure melodic heaven...

Olivia's picture

from start to exalted finish.

Every slice of piano music was delicious - from Handel to Gershwin. Freddy took us on a masterful piano journey which created one heck of a sumptuous atmosphere. The Rach 2 morsel was particularly exquisite! The world felt wonderful again tonight. Smiling

Talk here!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Remind us what it's like to experience sublimity! I had a spy at the Napier concert last night. Part of what he said:

Hi Lindsay

He was astonishing... a superhuman pianist AND the consummate multitasker. He conducted the entire concert from the piano, which I'd been aware of, but watching him actually juggling the roles of soloist and conductor was something to behold, particularly in the Rachmaninoff. At times he was playing the solo line in his right hand while conducting the orchestra (with total gestural independence) with his left hand. I can't begin to imagine the kind of coordination required to achieve this. [...]

In short I was blown away by Freddy Kempf and have been buzzing all day. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Wellington concert!

Tell him I won't talk this

Sam Pierson's picture

Tell him I won't talk this time until after the performance.

Ha, Pierson!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Freddy has cancelled Auckland. He heard you were going. Evil

Rrrready here. Programme

Sam Pierson's picture

Rrrready here. Programme looks great. So where we all going for lunch on Sunday?


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