Geoffrey Lancaster (fortepiano)

WAAPA Music Auditorium

reviewed by Neville Cohn

To listen to Geoffrey Lancaster at the fortepiano is to travel back in time when Mozart and Haydn reigned supreme. It is impossible to praise too highly the artistry of this exceptional interpreter.

Geoffrey Lancaster 1With a complete physical command of the instrument and an intellect that is as impressive as his digital skill at the keyboard, Lancaster was at his awesome best on Thursday.

For those who consider, say, Walter Gieseking as the last word in Mozart interpretation, Lancaster’s approach may well provoke a raised eyebrow or two. Gieseking, of course, played on a modern piano in a 20th-century style. Lancaster, on the other hand, makes magic on the sort of instrument for which Mozart wrote his keyboard works.

And a lifetime’s investment in performance practice of the classical era has paid golden dividends both for Lancaster and those who have the good fortune to listen to him in action. I wonder if there is – anywhere – a fortepianist of higher accomplishment than Lancaster. His playing is frankly magical, abounding in subtleties of tone and rhythm that draw us ineluctably into Mozart’s rarefied world.

As ever and in accordance with performance practice of the era, each sonata was prefaced by an improvisatory-type flourish.

What are the chances, I wonder, of Lancaster being invited to play the complete keyboard sonatas of Mozart in Perth? I imagine it would be standing room only.

Bravissimo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *