MR ARTHUR ALEXANDER
HLS PIANOFORTE RECITAL. AN ARTISTIC SUCCESS. It visa a delightful experience for the kindreds of students and music-lovers who attended Bums Hall last night to find Air Arthur Alexander proving himself fully qualified for the arduous task he had undertaken of supplying single-handed u evening’s programme of pianoforte music. Many of those present remember him as a child, for ho was born in Dunedin. When a mere hoy he displayed uncommon gifts, in the way of a faultless memory, absolute pitch, musical taste, and so on, and, as it is a matter of common knowledge that during his lengthened studies in England he swept the board of the leading prizes at the Royal Academy and vas entrusted with a sub-professorship at headquarters, there was a general feeling of assurance before Mr Alexander started to play las; right that he would he found well equipped in regard to technioue, and could bo rolled on for a. canonical presentation of airworks selected for the occasion. Nobody, therefore, it is safe to sav, went to Bun.Hall for the purpose of judging as to ; .L knowledge of pianoforte playing. That was taken for granted, on the strength of unimpeachable credentials. And we may state’ at once that the confidence felt on these point* was amply justified. Mr Alexander has the whole Academy preparation at command. It entrenches him firmly at every point, and brings him thiough ciitical positions with sureness and ease. The real surprise in store for the andi-nce at this recital was Mr Alexander's marvellous appreciation of the feeling and ;be spirit of the various compositions Iv* sat down to play. Ho is a musician, and that is much more than being a piano-player. His versatility is quite rare for a young man. He has evidently made a. special study of tone. In eveiv piece lie gave us eoncthing different, in the matter of touch, and thus got a wide rain go of tone, all of exquisite quality. Moreover, he is never for a moment dull or formal. Whether playing a mere trifle or tlm noble Bach music, ho infuses spirit nto the rendering. He possesses a fine reserve of power, yet never descends to the sledge-hammer style. Like many other mush ians. he seems to delight in soft music, but there is id his playing no sign of femininity or flabbiness. He ie, in choi-t, a very- capable solo pianist, singularly interesting in all his doings, and one of whom Dunedin may well he proud We nicy add ibat Mr Alexander line no cccen‘rieitio.- or undesirable mannerisms. He is aided by sound training end native wit as (o deportment and posture, and is unusually free from shoulder no roil. He began last nigln with Bach's 1 Fantasia in C minor,’ a work seldom he.;.id. Its rendering was conspicuous for clarity, note value, a line sense of wannth and movement, and rare facility with the left hand. The feature about the Brahms
* Rhapsody in G Minor’ was the erne-si;’;' ft-vle of the diminuendo. Then canu- a Chopin bracket- of three, headed by the 'Barcarolle’ i op. 60 1. which few concert performers care to tackle, probably !"■- cau-e there are many ea-ier thing,- in tbChopin album,-. To our way of t Inukii 1 r this wa.- one of the gem- of the ■■•ccjtal, for it was all through true to the Chopin character, and, to mention one out-land-ing merit, the rich embellishments and the theme were always uietlv proportioned. The 'Nocturne in B Major' was given with beautiful refinement, and the ‘Study in G Minor’ must have been an object-lesson to student.-, in regard to definil ion at speed. Then came two piece--by Dei)n--v. The. oniet, and poetic beauty of ‘Reflets dans I'Kan’ enchanted the hearers, and the animation of ' L'l-b- Joven-:' .vas very inspiring. If wire quite r, rare experience to find an audience real’.appreciating Debussy, who is generally voted mysterious. The clamorous encore resulted in Mr Alexander playing a berceuse by Dvorak. The second pari opened with Busoni's transcription of Bach's relehrated ‘Chaconne’ flop, tbe
" Fourth Sonata.’ It was given with core piece this time was MatlViay's Live-.’ A enneorr study by Rnsenldoom served as a nice contrast. it being a beautiful study in soft expression. Two piece-.-bv .-'criahine followed: a delic.it- :i’:d witching prelude and a fiery and d.tv poem inp, 32'. One needs to In ar su-m a work several times to understand if. but. Air Alexander made ns respect Set nibhceven at a tiret hearing, and it wag,,, j judgment; to answer the encore by pi-, \ ing the poem again. Polriiui’s ‘Etude in O’ came next, this being an elegant trifle, phased with rare finish, .and after the audience had been stirred by a striking perform.*ice of a forceful study by the Ruslan composer Linpouuow—a imret'-rpii ce. .prohalily, if we knew it—Air Alexander closed his unbroken series of -luee-se-with ‘The Golliwog’s Cakewalk.’ by Debussy. Tlte recital was one that v. ill he long remembered.
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MR ARTHUR ALEXANDER, Evening Star, Issue 15637, 30 October 1914