26 November 2007

Hellweger Anzeiger, Unna, Review by Rainer Ehmanns

Feeling for Harmony
Pianist Amir Katz Gave a Breathtaking Master Concert Yesterday Evening

Unna. Only after two encores did the enthusiastic audience let the pianist go following a breathtaking concert on Sunday evening. “You may go ahead and clap!” Amir Katz said after the B-minor Adagio, K. 540, of W. A. Mozart. You could almost cut the silence with a knife after the last sound had faded away. For here appeared a different Mozart: dark, mournful, perplexed, questioning, wan, and full of melancholy that in the Rondo in A minor, K. 511, turned into wistful resignation reflected in the sometimes almost hesitant repetition of the rondo theme.

All the more stupendous is the somnambulistic certainty with which he shapes the 12 Etudes, Op. 10, of F. Chopin into differentiated character pieces following the intermission. Although “etudes” are meant as exercise pieces for improving technical abilities, with Katz they are not only bravura pieces in which he places all his virtuosic capability in the service of interpretation. Here an entire world of enhanced tonal feeling arises, now in powerful bass runs under broadly unloading arpeggiated chords, now in sparkling chromatic runs, in gorgeous cantilenes that frame a furious intermezzo, now plaintive, then pressing forward again, here floating carpets of sound, there full-handed chords.

Agile spryness produces an iridescent shimmering up to the quietest echoing conclusion. It is no wonder then that Katz’s smart feeling for harmony loosens the audience’s mood with the two encores: Chopin waltzes in E-flat major, Op. 18, and C-sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2. This pianist is addictive!

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