This was our first ‘official’ lunch time concert at Breinton. Unlike a typical lunch-time programme with a duration of less than one hour, Colin Stone and Mayumi Iida gave a full-length performance with an interval. It was a treat for us the audience.
The programme began with Schubert and ended with Schubert. Colin and his duet partner (his wife in fact!) performed the fatefully dramatic Schubert Fantasy in D minor for Four Hands. It was my wish that one day someone will play this glorious piece at Breinton, so my dream was materialised. It was beautifully presented – I felt Colin’s left side part was often suppressed effectively and subtly so the painfully lyrical theme was best heard. I really loved the passage towards the end of the Finale, when it built up to a climax then came a sudden halt of silence before the heart-wrenching theme returned. Really emotional and moving.
The powerful mighty Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 6 followed. I think many pianists battle and fight the piano when performing Prokofiev’s War Sonatas, but Colin’s playing was none of that. He pursued quality of sounds, and showed much affection and love towards the composer.
Whenever I see Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata in a concert programme, I moan, ‘Not again!’ This Sonata is over played, and often very badly! So how happy was I to hear a refreshing performance by Colin that cleansed my ears. I thought there was some utterly beautiful sound making with a perfect pace in the first movement, then the second movement was delightful – played with delicateness without losing playfulness.
To conclude was Schubert’s Wanderers Fantasy. Like the Fantasy in D minor previously played, it has four connected movements. I am a big fan of this piece – it is powerful, has ups and downs, and mood changes, just like how you go through everyday life! According to Wikipedia, it is considered Schubert’s most technically demanding composition for the piano, and I believe that. Despite so many demanding chords and passages, I felt I could hear every note and the voicing throughout the piece was fantastic.
Colin’s informative talk about each piece was an invaluable part of the concert. It was brief yet presented in a friendly and interesting way, which certainly increased our enjoyment of this lunch time experience at Breinton.
- シューベルト 幻想曲 ヘ短調 D.940 (ピアノ連弾 ゲスト:飯田真弓)
Schubert Fantasy in F minor for piano, four hands D.940
- プロコフィエフ ソナタ 第6番 イ長調 Op.82
Prokofiev Sonata No.6 in A major Op.82
- ベートーヴェン ピアノソナタ 第14番 嬰ハ短調 Op.27-2 幻想曲風ソナタ (月光)
Beethoven Piano Sonata No.14 Op.27-2 C sharp Minor quasi una Fantasia " Moonlight"
- シューベルト さすらい人幻想曲 D.760
Schubert Wanderer Fantasy D.760
Colin Stone’s career as a performer began in the late 1980s. He was encouraged by Sir Charles Groves at the finals of the 1985 Young Concert Artist’s Trust and went on to win the Royal Over-Seas League piano competition in 1986. A Subsequent debut at the Wigmore Hall and numerous broadcasts on BBC Radio3 helped to establish his growing reputation and has led to performances around the world. A number of acclaimed recordings followed both of solo repertoire and chamber music with the London Mozart Trio which he founded in 1989. He gave his first cycle of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas in 2005 and most recently has been recording the Prokofiev sonatas.
Colin Stone has a particular affinity with the music of Shostakovich. In addition to his recent recording of the Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues Op.87, he has recorded the two Piano Trios and the Piano Quintet (Classic FM “Instrumental and Chamber Disc of the Month” June 2008) and, with Rustem Hayroudinoff, he gave the first performance in the West of the two-piano version of the Fourth Symphony, op. 43a, a work which they have recorded for Chandos. He also recorded the two piano sonatas and Preludes Op.34 for Olympia (now available on the Regis label). Colin Stone also appears in the documentary film, “The Unknown Shostakovich” along with Vladimir Ashkenazy, Valery Gergiev, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Maxim Shostakovich, first shown at the Barbican Cinema. He first performed the complete cycle of 24 Preludes and Fugues Op.87 at Cadogan Hall in London in a concert to mark the centenary of the composer’s birth: Vladimir Ashkenazy himself gave the pre-concert talk.
Colin Stone is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Details of his other recordings and forthcoming concerts can be found on www.colinstone.co.uk
Mayumi Iida was born in Japan and started the piano at the age of three. She continued her studies at Tokyo University of Liberal Arts, where she was awarded first place at her Master’s recital, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she graduated from the postgraduate performance course with honours.
She had encouragement at the International Schubert competition in Germany in 2003 and she participated with success in other international competitions. Her international engagements have included concerts in the UK and Japan.
She is also in demand as an accompanist and chamber musician. Recent highlights include the Japan Festival in England, The City of London Festival, St James Piccadilly , concerts at Bristol Cathedral and St George's Bristol and a radio broadcast concert in Warminster. With the pianist Colin Stone she has done several two-piano concerts in the UK and in Japan's prestigious Bunka Kaikan.
Mayumi combines her performing activities with her role as a teacher. She Currently teaches at Orley farm School in Harrow and Merchant Taylors' School in Northwood.