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Sunday 11 Jan 2015

3:00 pm • £12

Alasdair Beatson


Kurtag, Schubert, Ravel and Beethoven

Alasdair Beatson

Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi

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György Kurtag

From Játékok:

  • Flowers We Are, Frail Flowers
  • Bell-fanfare for Sándor Veress
  • Hommage à Schubert


Sonata in A minor D 784

György Kurtag


György Kurtag


György Kurtag

...flowers also the stars...



György Kurtag

Perpetuum mobile (objet trouvé


Sonata in C, op 53 "Waldstein"



On Sunday afternoon 11th. January the Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson gave a brilliant performance in a programme including music by Schubert,Beethoven, Ravel and the 20th. century composer György Kurtag. The latter`s style of writing tends to be minimalistic and although interesting, not necessarily to everybody`s taste.

However, two pieces in particular were certainly appealing. The"Bell Fanfare for Sandor Verses" and "Perpetuum mobile" in the second half were most descriptive and were portrayed vividly by the pianist who produced the fine sonorous tone required to depict the bells in the first piece and an incredible "waterfall" of glissando effects in the second.

Speaking personally, the highlights of the programme were a shimmering,memorable rendering of Ravel`s "Sonatine" where Alasdair showed his complete mastery of dynamics and tone control so necessary for this impressionistic French music,and to finish a stunning performance of Beethoven`s ever popular" Waldstein" Sonata Op.53 in C major. Surely the old Count Waldstein to whom this masterpiece was dedicated as well as the writer, would have been amazed and delighted to hear it played like this,at such a pace and with every note clearly articulated!! A magnificent concert indeed.

Peter Burge


Alasdair Beatson

Pianist Alasdair Beatson is highly regarded as a distinctive and vibrant musician. Highlights of 2014 include a sixth solo Wigmore Recital on July 13th, performances of the complete Beethoven cello sonatas with Pieter Wispelwey, and chamber collaborations with such artists as Adrian Brendel, Philippe Graffin, Erich Höbarth, Henning Kraggerud, and Pekka Kuusisto. His recent CD of Mendelssohn piano music with SOMM Recordings received praise for highly sensitive playing of rare insight (Classic FM Magazine) and was awarded the ‘Outstanding’ accolade of International Record Review, and a new disc presenting the complete piano music of Ludwig Thuille was released in April 2013.

Recent concerts include appearances as soloist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, the Scottish Ensemble, and performances as soloist in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques, conducted by George Benjamin, and Hindemith’s The Four Temperaments. As one of the most established chamber pianists of his generation, Alasdair works in a wide and varied repertoire with some of today’s finest musicians. Recent festival appearances include Aldeburgh, Bath Mozartfest, Music at Plush, Resonances (Belgium), Ernen (Switzerland), Delft and Oxford Chamber Music. A regular participant of IMS Prussia Cove, Alasdair was invited to join their touring groups in 2007 and 2011. He is Artistic Director of the chamber music festival Musique à Marsac.

Alasdair enjoys a regular association with the Scottish Ensemble. In addition to numerous chamber music projects, he returns in Autumn 2014 for a third tour as soloist, playing concertos of Mozart and Haydn.

Often attracted to less familiar repertoire, Alasdair’s approach to programming has been described as canny and uncompromising (Classical Source). His debut solo CD – the opus 1′s of Schumann, Brahms, Grieg and Berg – was released on SOMM Recordings in 2009 to critical acclaim. Other uncommon works explored include Debussy’s own arrangement for solo piano of his ballet Jeux, Fauré’s rarely performed Fantaisie for piano and orchestra, Hindemith’s Four Temperaments, the complete solo piano music of Ludwig Thuille, and piano trio arrangements of Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata. Keen to collaborate directly with living composers, Alasdair has worked closely with George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Heinz Holliger.