The Chapel this week was filled with the sounds of Beethoven and Chopin as Bethany presented a challenging and impressive selection on the piano on Wednesday. Beethoven’s Sonata in G, op. 14 no.2 set the tone for the concert. Bethany began confidently with a stately opening of the theme and paid clear attention to articulation, which bolstered the all-important sense of pulse that fuels the opening theme. Further into the variations, Bethany brought fluidity to legato passages via left-hand broken-chord figures, nonetheless acknowledging and maintaining the importance of voice-leading during moments of exchanges between treble and bass. The Scherzo movement was played expertly with the essence of style as the focal point of the piece. Bethany provided a lightness of touch, which was difficult considering the reverberant acoustic of the Chapel.
Last in the programme, but by no means least, was the fiendishly beautiful Ballade No.1 in G minor, op 23 by Chopin. Beginning confidently with a real sense of purpose and drive, Bethany settled into presenting themes with clarity, subtly adding touches of rubato to suspend the audience along the way. Bethany captured the idyllic second theme with such lyricism in her fingertips. It almost felt like the left hand was finally liberated from chordal accompaniment to soft and silky undulations, and Bethany approached this with such intent. The tension was the key trope in this piece and Bethany was undaunted by the technical and emotive challenges that Chopin showcases, particularly in the bravura sections. A fantastic rendition of Romantic piano repertoire, well done Bethany.
Bethany’s recital is available to watch here.