Review of piano recital by Michael Endres

Performance Reflection: Memories - Michael Endres (piano) March 22, 2020

Driving south to Paekakariki from Otaki, sunny afternoon, looking forward to hearing and being part of the audience, to a very special performance, at the piano, from the one and only, Michael Endres. The Memorial Hall car park, beside Campbell Park, just about empty. Memories of school boy football and our young family playing on the swings and steep slide, come back to me, from many years before.

Welcoming smiles, bring me back to reality as I pay and am free to choose a seat. Seats meticulously placed two metres apart in a semi-circle focusing around the piano, choosing one in the back row with a good view of the keyboard. Certainly plenty of leg room! The large windows facing the audience are very bright, only one has a curtain, causing me to shade my eyes to cut the glare, but that's alright. Others arrive, we acknowledge those we know. We wait in hushed tones! I remember leading the community Christmas carols in this hall, fifty years before, the hall is just the same. The sound of the sea reminding one, we are not too far from the beach.

We are under way, after introductions, we are each to our own thoughts as the music surrounds and fills us with different emotions, ebbing back and forth, like the tide, pianissimo to presto and legato, bring back memories, making us think, have we heard that music before?

Interval is there before we realize it. Mulled wine to sip, Sir John Trimmer's paintings on the walls to "mull" over, giving us a different perspective of how we see and see through people. Conversation is minimalized.

We are seated, we stand to applaud, as the Maestro walks to the piano, pausing, giving us a brief insight into Liszt's genius in transcribing all nine of Beethoven's Symphony's over a period of more than twenty three years.

Quote: J Schmidt-Gorg. Programme notes: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: Conductor, Herbert von Karajan.

"Probably the most popular of Beethoven's symphonies. This is due to the terse nature of the themes and to the artistic unity of the work, but in part to Schindler's oft-quoted story that Beethoven described the opening of the first movement as "Fate knocking at the door".

"For Berlioz, it reflects Beethoven's "innermost thoughts", his secret sorrows, his pent-up anger, his reveries filled with such despondency, his nocturnal visions, his exultations…" end quote.

The hammering rhythm of the opening phase, are familiar. The unity of different themes following. Listening, absorbed, perhaps we may wonder, is this really happening? But real it is, as the magnetic personality of Michael Endres gives the audience a dynamic performance, bursting with vitality, he is playing with innermost sensitivity that comes from the heart.

We stand and give a standing ovation, bravo, bravo, as the applause continues. Michael graciously gives us all a small piano reflection, to calm us before we leave. Michael Endres has put his all into this performance, leaving us all feeling the emotional qualities of the music, which we know Beethoven and Liszt certainly felt.

Quentin Christie (Jo Blogs of music!)

9 Bell Street
Otaki 5512

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