A few weeks after receiving a rave review for a performance with the New York Philharmonic, Benjamin Grosvenor played a stunning recital in Miami at FIU’s Wertheim Concert Hall on April 29, 2018. Throughout a broad range of repertoire from Bach to the contemporary Bret Dean, the playing was stylistically impeccable and technically brilliant — with an extraordinary range of color, dynamics and sonority that one rarely hears from any pianist today.
The recital attracted an enthusiastic audience from as far as the Tampa and Palm Beach areas. The 25 year old Grosvenor who was Britain’s “Artist of the Year” two years ago and a favorite of pianist of Ivan Davis (along with Martha Argerich). The fascinating, diverse program opened with the Bach French Suite (BWV 816) that was articulated with sparse pedal. The three movements of Brett Dean’s contemporary “Homage a Brahms” were each interspersed with the four pieces of Brahms Opus 119.
After intermission Grosvenor captured the color of Debussy’s “Afternoon of a Faun” in the solo piano arrangement by Leonard Borwick and George Copeland. This was followed by Berg’s Sonata, Opus 1. The program ended with a most spectacular performance of Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. After the pianissimos of Ondine and the bell-tolling of Le Gibet, Scarbo erupted to an exciting conclusion that was reminiscent of a famed Michelangeli performance at Carnegie Hall in November 1968.
The standing ovation from the audience was rewarded with two encores – a brilliant Gnomenreigen by Liszt and the warm, soft sonority of Grieg’s Erotik.