RBS Morgans International Piano Series

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

Elder Hall. 24 Apr 2012

A full length Debussy recital by a world renowned pianist is not a common event, but Adelaide concert goers were treated to a joyous experience when multi-award winning French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet performed an inspired programme on Tuesday evening. 

This concert was the latest in the RBS Morgans International Piano Series and we are indebted to RBS Morgans as principal sponsor, and to promoter Guy Barrett for his drive and dedication to keeping the series alive.  The Adelaide musical scene would be much poorer without it.

Bavouzet is an acknowledged world-class interpreter of Debussy; he has won multiple awards for his recordings of Debussy’s complete works for solo piano; and his performance provided abundant evidence of that.  Bavouzet deserved a capacity audience but had to settle for something less.  It is not as if Adelaide is spoiled for choice when it comes to such recitals, however the audience was enthusiastically appreciative and rightly so.

Bavouzet assembled what he dubbed an ‘essential Debussy’ programme that comprised the composer’s best known piano works, including – to single out just a few – the Arabesque No.1, which was executed with fluid tenderness, the iconic Clair de lune, which never became overemotional, and the unforgiving Feux d’artifice, which demands, and received, pianism par excellence.

Debussy demands a different type of listening.  It is easy to lose one’s self in the moment and allow the grace and silkiness of the music to gently wash over and through you, and leave you before you take the chance to think more deeply about it.  The musical forms are less apparent.  Bavouzet aided and abetted our abandonment, and astonished us with his ability to move effortlessly between pp and ff in the space of a beat, without histrionics.

A technician and a master at work.

Bavouzet will also play Bartok’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the ASO on Friday and Saturday night (27 and 28 April), which will reveal something altogether quite different.

Got your tickets?

Kym Clayton


When: Closed
Where: Elder Hall
Bookings: Closed