REVIEW: Jonathan Plowright, Funtington Music Group

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Enthusiastically planned for the end of the current season – (and 80th concert) – Funtington Music Group had decided to concentrate on its eager relationship with the University of Chichester Music Department, by arranging for it’s head of keyboard studies to provide a – truly memorable – recital, for them.

Enthusiastically performing on the Steinway Grand Piano – in the Chapel of the Ascension – one of the world’s most transcendent professional pianists provided an outstanding recital of exceptional piano music. Jonathan Plowright is head of keyboard studies at the University and, having been introduced to an enthusiastic full-house by Chairman, David Tinsley, he then appeared – elegantly attired in a black suit, with a white shirt and black bow-tie – and immediately commenced his performance with Brahms’ memorable work, his Sonata No.3 in F Minor. As this composition commenced with some intense, rather loud, melody, this soloist’s superb technique enabled him to powerfully express all this composer’s musical directions, in every one of the six movements. His expressive, highly animated and technically perfect performance of such a remarkable 19th century work was to last for the whole of the first half, and, following an intense round of applause, all those present then relaxed cheerfully, within the Chapel, during the Interval.

Following that Interval, this remarkable pianist then entranced all those present with 6 Consolidations S 172, during which his technique passionately absorbed the musical poetry of Franz Liszt, written when this composer was only 40. Having next explained the way in which he intensely considers all the manifestations of composers’ minds, Jonathan then blissfully re-demonstrated his eager style, which enabled him to poetically express the romantic musical thought of another German composer, Robert Schumann, in his Carnaval Opus 9, all 19 movements of which enabled him to conclude such an exceptional recital with his ecstatic musical expression of the passionate musical thoughts of this outstanding composer, particularly within the final – more rhythmical – moments, which were certainly keenly applauded by all those present, at their conclusion.

John Wheatley