Concert review: Tom is a Poster boy for piano perfection

PUBLISHED: 13:00 03 March 2016

Tom Poster [Picture: Hanya Chlala]

Tom Poster [Picture: Hanya Chlala]

Archant

In the 15 years or so since I first heard pianist Tom Poster perform, he has matured from a very good musician to a superb artist.

His recital for the Radlett Music Club last week saw a complete and totally confident performer providing a thoroughly enjoyable programme.

He opened his performance with Mozart’s ever-changing Fantasy in C minor, K475, with its slow and stately opening, rapidly changing tempo and a variety of keys.

Throughout he demonstrated a passion for his music, providing great vivacity and emotion to the work.

Romanian-born composer György Kurtág is something of an unknown in this county but Tom chose to play three of his fascinating but extremely brief miniatures from his series Jatekok which were inspired by the way children approach the piano as a toy and begin to experiment with it.

Although incredibly short, the pieces have great charm and the last of the three was an excellent precursor to Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A Major, D664.

A wonderfully sunny delight, the sonata is one of Schubert’s most popular works and Tom’s performance was warm and fresh.

Chopin’s Four Ballades are usually played separately or in pairs but rarely played as a complete set.

But for the first time in his career Tom chose to play them as a complete set for the second half of the programme.

And he used all his skills to produce an outstanding and emotional performance of the four differing pieces. His experiment in playing all four pieces together was an outstanding success and a total delight for the very large audience.

After a well-earned ovation Tom treated the audience to something completely different for an encore, his own arrangement of George Gershwin’s jazz standard, the ballad Someone to Watch Over Me.

JOHN MANNING

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