Stratford has itself an enterprising Autumn Festival, with events encompassing music of all kinds: Classic FM-type favourites to cutting-edge contemporary, as well as folk and jazz. There are still worthwhile concerts to be caught before it ends on Saturday.
One of the highlights has to be Melvyn Tan’s all-Chopin recital last Sunday, delivered on a well set-up concert grand but obviously benefiting from his long experience of making period instruments “speak”.
Throughout a programme which ended with the wonderful B minor Sonata there was tremendous clarity of articulation (not least in the stupendous multiple trills of the Polonaise Fantaisie and the chattering textures of the C major Etude), a well-judged weighting of chording and a sheer exuberance of delivery, colours and textures so expertly juggled, which both charmed and dazzled.
Some kind of rogue smoke-alert bedevilled the opening moments (what is it with piano recitals, so often these days prey to gremlins of all kinds?), but Tan’s poise and commitment carried us all through.
Given the stall he set out here, I would so much love to hear Melvyn Tan in a composer even more intimate and confiding than Chopin – Grieg.