Luke's playing might be described as "muscular", certainly he draws great power from the piano with an appearance of little effort. With the release of his CD he may have announced himself as something of a Scarlatti specialist, and that is no bad thing: his choice of three sonatas for our concert ( L23, 118 and 449) demonstrated his flair and affinity for this music and also showed off our Bechstein most effectively. Composer, performer and instrument all seemed well suited to each other!
The rest of the programme comprised Beethoven's Op 26 sonata, Chopin's Nocturne Op 48 No 2, Morawetz's Scherzo for piano and Schumann's Faschingsschwank aus Wien. Luke's performance of the Chopin did much to justify his suggestion that the piece is unfairly neglected in favour of No 1 in the same Opus, while the Morawetz was a joyful introduction to a composer new to me. For my liking, the Beethoven was a little rushed in parts, it could have done with a bit more room to breathe - one might say that this was Beethoven played a bit too much in the style of Scarlatti. Something of the same tendency re-emerged in the Schumann but the finale, marked "Höchst Lebhaft", certainly lived up to that description as it hurtled brilliantly to its end.
Much to enjoy, then, in this performance - and we wish Luke well with his future career.
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Canadian-born Luke Welch now lives in the Netherlands; his fine recital went appropriately under the title "Crossing Borders", the same as his recently published CD of Scalatti sonatas.