The long-awaited concert by pianist Dénes Várjon (Read our interview with Dénes Várjon) was held June 1, 2022 presented by the Candlelight Concert Society. Though I am not an expert, I had some musical training in my youth, both as a musician and a student of classical music. The mastery of the piano by Várjon is, perhaps, the best I have ever heard. Várjon’s long fingers landed on the keys effortlessly and lovingly. At times, it sounded like more than two hands were playing—and he uses no sheet music. It seemed as if he and the piano had become one.
At times it felt as if he and the piano had become one.
The program included Johann Sebastian Bach’s “English Suite No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 807” and is in five parts. This dance suite goes from jubilant to mellow. You could picture the early 18th century dancers moving about the floor. The “Gigue” at the end is almost like a sea-shanty or jig.
Várjon then performed Robert Schumann’s “Fantasie in C Major, Opus 17.” He put life into this piece starting with the majestic first movement, switching to the very energetic sounds of in the second, and finally, the softer sounds of final movement which sounded like a lullaby. When Várjon ended before intermission, his hands lingered on the keys as if he was reluctant to leave.
After intermission, the audience was treated to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Rondo in D Major, K. 485.” You did not have to read the program to know this was Mozart. It was playful and joyous and Várjon’s hands seemed to float over the keys.
Frederic Chopin’s “Sonata in B Minor” was performed at the end of the program to musical perfection. This was a long-impassioned sonata for Chopin, and illustrates how “the composer found himself truly inspired.” It is interesting to note that Schumann (46), Mozart (35) and Chopin (39) died relatively young, preceded by long illnesses. Each of their compositions showed so much emotion that it might have been their way of leaving us a piece of their souls. Várjon’s performance revealed their souls.
After a rousing standing ovation, Várjon performed an encore of songs by Bartok. It was icing on a perfect cake.
Running Time: Two hours with one intermission.
Dénes Várjon performed on June 1, 2022 at Smith Theatre at Howard Community College, Campus Dr, Columbia, MD 21044 on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 7.30 p.m.
“Steven Isserlis, cello with Jeremy Denk, piano” will be held this Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 3:00 pm at Lineham Concert Hall at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland. Go to this link for tickets.
For tickets and information on the upcoming 50th Anniversary season, go to CSC’s website.
Special thanks to the insights of Alberta Hall.