Daylight Express - Anthony Romaniuk: Perpetuum

Daylight Express Anthony Romaniuk Perpetuum Adelaide Festival 2024Adelaide Festival. Elder Hall. 7 Mar 2024


Perpetuum is part of the Adelaide Festival’s Daylight Express excellent mini-series, which features outstanding world-class artists in recital, and they are not your ‘usual’ recitals. There is always something out-of-the-box – they are ideal festival events – and Perpetuum is no exception.


Anthony Romaniuk is a European-based Australian keyboardist who is as comfortable with the music of modernists Philip Glass and John Adamas, as he is with Bach and Purcell and everything in between. In Perpetuum, he has assembled no less than twenty pieces that have velocity and unquenchable momentum at their very heart and has cleverly stitched them together to form a continuous and integrated whole. The collection is drawn from his latest album which also carries the name Perpetuum.


What makes the performance special is that he seamlessly moves between three instruments. On stage there is a grand piano, harpsichord and electronic keyboard (that is also capable of playing back pre-recorded sequences). Romaniuk begins the concert with a lesser-known composition by Erik Satie on the piano (En y regardeant à deux fois, from Pièces froides: Danses de travers), follows it with the Prelude form Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, and them fluidly rotates on the piano bench to face the harpsichord and play his own arrangement of the Prelude from Bach’s Suite in E major, BWV 1006a. Soon he gracefully moves to the electronic keyboard and effortlessly plays Philip Glass’ Etude No.2, preserving all of the subtlety of its myriad of rhythmic and melodic changes. Romaniuk has a superb feel for it all.


Effortlessly, Romaniuk performs diverse compositions from Stravinsky, Ligeti, Schubert, Schumann, Purcell, Shostakovich, Beethoven, and his own inspired arrangement of Toccata Arpeggiata by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger. He even plays two instruments at once – the keyboard with one hand and the piano with the other as he transitions between one of his own Improvisations and another piece by Satie.


Romaniuk is a tall and slender man, and he sits at the instruments with presence and authority. His playing is passionate – he clearly feels every note and relishes every phrase – and he has an uncanny ability to make the unexpected sound ‘normal’.


Perpetuum is truly the stuff of festivals, and Anthony Romaniuk is a musical force of nature.


Kym Clayton


When: 7 Mar

Where: Elder Hall, University of Adelaide

Bookings: Closed