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Concert review: Back to Bach by Kenneth Hamilton

Published on Apr 20, 2014 10:28 AM

Esplanade Recital Studio

Saturday April 19

Because he played a programme full of lesser-known composer Alkan's works at his recital last year, Scottish virtuoso pianist Kenneth Hamilton explained that he returned this year with a concert centred around Bach, arguably the most famous composer of all time. Speaking in between pieces, Hamilton introduced each work, giving humorous anecdotes about the composers and pieces before performing.

The recital opened and ended with two monumental Liszt works, the Fantasy on B-A-C-H and the emotionally charged Variations on Bach's Weinen, klagen; and within the opening chords he showed, despite his lanky frame, a powerful presence in his playing, building up a massive wall of sound. The Variations were aptly prefaced by the Busoni-Bach choral prelude Ich Ruf zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ, which fit thematically and musically.

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