Soloist with the Malmö Symphony

2005-11-26 / Sydsvenskan

Inspired and with warmth

Together with Angela Hewitt, the Malmö Symphony Orchestra enters the Mozart arena.

A few minutes into Mozart’s Piano Concerto Number 20 and the scene is set: Angela Hewitt is hunched over the keyboard. She allows the final tones of the phrase to fade away with emotion. When the orchestra takes over, she lifts her hands in a quick gesture, turning sideways and sitting completely motionless, eyes looking out into the distance.

The gesture is theatrical; but the effect is as genuinely dramatic as a complete opera compressed into one single microsecond. The theme from the foreboding introduction is repeated, but this time the music ventures into that realm of Mozart which is mystical and at the same time enlightened.

With Angela Hewitt as soloist, one cannot help but note the relationship between the D minor concerto and the opera Don Giovanni and the melting together of the tragic and the comic. The piano playing is dominated by a completely unique union of dramatic depth and unpretentious simplicity. Her dancing levity, her unhindered melodic flow and ability to throw out and fetch again the threads of ideas from the orchestra is proof that one does not have to resort to baroque style in order to move away from romantic, heavy interpretations or to show off.

Joseph Swensen and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra are well integrated in this inspiring alliance, playing with warmth and with light and shade far beyond the normal level of accompaniment. Not strange, considering that they have been given the privilege of being the first Swedish orchestra to perform with one of the world’s finest pianists. Angela Hewitt responds to the enthusiastic standing ovation of the audience with a concentrated glimpse of that which has made her so famous: carrying on the legacy of Glenn Gould in interpreting Bach for the modern piano (Prelude and Fugue in D major).

Translated by Erik Svenningsen