Part of the secret of great pianism is all about taking risks (listen to Brendel playing Mozart in Vienna in his retirement concert).
And at Friday’s end-of-term concert at Birmingham Conservatoire we heard a fledgling pianist doing just that, as she enlivened Tchaikovsky’s tired old Piano Concerto no.1.
Rebeca Omordia, an advanced post-grad student here, addressed the keyboard fearlessly in this technically uncongenial work, pouncing on the keys, caressing them lovingly, exploiting all the instrument’s capabilities as she derived obvious pleasure in her playing, and conveyed it so irresistibly to us.
Her chording was full and well-weighted, her rhythmic definition was crisp and clear, and the intimate Andantino (by far the work’s best movement) was delivered with love and affection.
There were some wonderful instrumental contributions from the alert, so supportive Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra (flute, cello, oboe among them, and what sturdy horns at the famous opening). It would have been gracious of conductor Lionel Friend to allow them individual spotlights at the end.
Nor had he done so after a technically brilliant account of Britten’ emotionally powerful Sinfonia da Requiem.
Thomas Martin at least deserved a bit of a bow, and the players a more positive sense of educational zeal.