On March 20, 2007 I attended a concert at the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center featuring a piano recital by Robert Holm. Having attended an event here before I was familiar with the location and was much more comfortable with the environment. The audience was mostly in casual attire making the event seem more laid back than I expected. The performer, however, was dressed quite formally in a suit and tie which created a very professional appearance, yet his casual demeanor and cheerful attitude exhibited great confidence.
The part of the concert I enjoyed the most was the second movement of sonata number three. This movement was a scherzo and the fast tempo combined with the unique and somewhat unpredictable melody made this movement particularly pleasant. This movement seemed to take the theme of the first movement and develop it in several different ways. Repetition is a dominant part of this scherzo as well as transposition and modulation. After hearing this piece I could not help but picture it as background music to a cartoon or comedy show.
The part of the concert I least enjoyed was the final movement of the show, entitled "Hammerklavier." This movement was hard for me to follow, as the melody of the piece seemed to be somewhat random. The whole piece was rather chaotic to my ears and it seemed to be the longest single movement of the night, which only made it more unpleasant. There were several points during the piece that seemed to be building to a closing climax, but in actuality were doing just the opposite and seeming to build a new theme to follow. According to the program this piece is an extremely challenging piece to play and has influenced many other musicians, but I definitely did not appreciate it and I suppose that is my loss.
The performance overall was excellent and the music, although not to my taste, was quite enjoyable. And to see the display of skill and talent of Mr. Holm as he played was well...
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