14 April 2015

Maria Lettberg Piano Recital

Back in February, there was a chance to go back to the Spiegelsaal, this time to watch a recital of Swedish pianist Maria Lettberg. Lettberg is known for being a specialist for the music of Alexander Scriabin, and sure enough, there was Scriabin on the program that night.

I have to say that she did a good job in composing the program for the evening. She alternated between Franz Liszt and Alexander Scriabin, and later on, she explained that the evening's program was about Love and Death. She started with Liszt's Sonnet 104 of Petrarch; I have to say that I didn't like her rendition of this piece. The notes were a little murky and in my opinion, she used too much pedal on it, that it didn't come out crispy. Thankfully, she repeated it as an encore piece in the end, and that was better in my opinion.

After that, she performed Scriabin's "Vers la flamme" Op. 72. I personally know this piece, and it was quite exciting to see it performed live. I loved her interpretation of this piece. It is rarely played, mostly because Scriabin isn't really a household name when it comes to piano music, unlike Chopin.

The next two pieces were Liszt's transcription of Richard Wagner's "Isolde's Liebestod", followed by Liszt's "Marche funebre". Both were gigantic pieces, which she executed perfectly, though Liszt is not really my favorite composer.

After the pause, she performed Franz Liszt's "Nuages gris" followed by Scriabin's Sonate No. 9, Op. 68. She asked the audience to refrain from applauding after the Liszt, as she played the two pieces one immediately following the other. It actually worked, in my opinion.

She followed it with Liszt's Sonnet 123 of Petrarch, and finally, Scriabin's Sonate No. 5, Op. 53. It was actually the first time for me to hear these Scriabin sonatas live, even though I love his music. He just isn't played too often. Hence I was glad to have the opportunity to hear his music live this time.

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