King’s Lynn Festival concert shows lightness of touch

Alexander Ullman ANL-150723-171612001
Alexander Ullman ANL-150723-171612001

Coffee Concert: Alexander Ullman – Lynn Town Hall

The lightness of touch of Alexander Ullman at the piano keyboard opened Wednesday morning’s concert with Beethoven’s Sonata in F major.

That is not to say that there was no depth or strength in his playing – there certainly was plenty – as his fingers seemingly effortlessly floated over the keys.

There was no sense of hurry even in the presto movement yet the pace was there. Such is the skill of the man who is still young and making his mark on the musical world. The mood changes between and within the movements of the sonata were clearly expressed with subtle nuances of tone and tempo holding the audience enraptured throughout.

Moving from Beethoven to Debussy for the second piece gave equal pleasure as Alexander played “Estampes” creating an opportunity to easily visualise in imagination the suggestions from the titles of the movements. The third movement suggesting rain also had suggestions of songs – perhaps a forerunner to singing in the rain! The audience was so spellbound by the performance especially the long held fading last notes that it was difficult to appreciate when it ended and the dream was over.

Then to Chopin; beginning with his Mazurkas followed by Ballade in F minor, displaying different styles of the same composer. Each of these was played with consummate ease it seemed although the varying emotions, rhythms and intensity were clearly apparent. Whether depicting dances or poems the composer’s nationality is obvious and this was very evident in the performance. As with the other pieces the listeners were engrossed and were eager for more from this talented pianist.

Sustained applause brought him back several times and he duly obliged with an encore. More Chopin; and this time Nocturne opus 7, exquisitely played to the great enjoyment of the audience

who no doubt would still have liked more.

Sheila Johnson