There was a thick dampness in the air, caused by the recent excessive rain. There was, of course, increasing concern for the Coronavirus. The outside world continued to look a bit grim, but here came Can Çakmur, a young Turkish pianist, looking fresh and eager.
Can’s programme did not have a technically flashing showcase piece; nor did it have pieces with melodious punchlines which everybody would recognise. Rather, it was a programme with which we grew comfortable as it progressed, and, in the hands of Can, the music seeped through gradually into the audience.
There was plenty of beautiful singing elements in the first half; very rich in voicing and flowing, Can conveyed the glorious theme of An die ferne Geliebte in a heart-squeezing sentiment. The same went for the utterly gorgeous Andante in the third movement of Beethoven’s Sonata. Supporting the melodies was Can’s very warm, embracing bottom register, which was treasurable. Throwing in a short contemporary piece by Sven Daigger, in between the two Beethoven, was an intentional plot by the pianist. It stimulated the audience’s curiosity and provided an interesting connection to the next piece.
Throughout Schumann’s Sonata we felt swiftness and well-controlled dexterity with clarity, tension and desperation expressed in fantastical textures. And this was followed by bitter-sweetness in the slow movement with a lovely sensitivity. As well as playing the piano, he was clearly comfortable to communicate his views verbally. His verbal, and informative, descriptions reflected in his playing; his articulation and intelligence in structuring phrases and sound sonority unlocked one’s imagination, which lead to another level of enjoyment and appreciation. This was most apparent in the final piece, Schumann’s Gesänge derr Frühe.
Again, Can threw in a contemporary air in the second half, in between the two Schumann pieces. The Phase Four of Track by Sven Daigger reminded me of Nikolai Kapustin’s etudes, which was a pleasant surprise.