A recital by pianist, Alex Raineri on a full grand, shiny, black Steinway was a wonderful way to return to QPAC. Alex brought compositions spanning three centuries to this one year we will never forget.
He told the audience that he had mainly selected for recital a reportoire of pieces that were not originally composed for piano. Included were a violin partita, an operatic excerpt and songs from modern musicals wellknown for their popular lyrics.
Raineri commenced with Bach/Rachmaninoff Prelude in E from Violon Partita No. 3, BWV 1006. This composition was the last in Johann Sebastian Bach’s set of six sonatas and partitas. The violin part was transcribed for organ by the composer in 1729.
Raineri played three songs by Stephen Sondheim including Pretty Women from Sweeny Todd as his encore. Sondheim wrote Send in the Clowns for the 1973 musical A Little Night Music. Known for it’s poignant lyrics and performed by famed singers including Sinatra and Streisand, Raineri’s interpretatation completely transformed the song with wonderful result.
One of the other Sondheim songs, No One is Alone is the penultimate number performed near the end of the musical, Into the Woods. As alex pointed out in introduction, that title is particularly poignant right now.
Actually composed for piano, the 4 movements in Alberto Ginastera’s Piano Sonata No. 1 Op. 22 are a performance challenge for any soloist. The movements vary but retain a syncopated rhythm which is dramatic, dynamic and intensely punctuated. The rapidity of pace requires precise fluidity of finger movement and placement.
Maintaining connectivity between the leaps also demands speedy, somewhat extreme coordination and dexterity of wrists and forearms during the complex crossovers. Flawlessly performed by this young pianist. The composition was commissioned in 1952 by Carnegie Institute and The Pennsylvannia college for Women.
Rondo a capriccio, Op. 129 is alternatively titled, Rage Over a Lost Penny. Raineri informed his audience that tempestuous Beethoven had written it in a state of fury directed at his maid over an unaccounted penny. For a furious ouburst, the resultant piece is joyful and jaunty in Hungarian/gypsy style.
Alex Raineri at age 27 already has attained a list of enviable awards, credits and performance opportunities. This young virtuoso has already realised the prodigious potential which would have been obvious to those who taught or encountered him.
He is beyond the point where a promising future is predicted. The limited audience were indeed blessed by the opportunity to attend this recital by Raineri. Wonderful, just wonderful!
Alex Raineri in Recital
Concert Hall – Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Peformance: Saturday 5 September 2020
Season – Sold Out
For more information, visit: www.qpac.com.au for details.
Image: Alex Raineri (supplied)
Review: Michele-Rose Boylan