Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Last week was very exciting musically; I managed to catch both of Elisabeth Leonskaja's London appearances. Schubert in a lunch time concert on Tuesday and then on Saturday she was the soloist in the Schumann piano concerto at the Barbican. In a recent interview Leonskaja revealed that what really concerned her during a concert was not the applause, or length of applause, or even booing but the quality of silence that she could perceive between herself and the audience. I’ve thought a lot about this after seeing her perform this week. I always find her performances extraordinary but on Saturday evening she played a Chopin Nocturne as an encore that one critic noted was ‘transcendental’. I was very aware of the silence during this performance, it felt as if it contained the energy of the audience’s concentration, or commitment or just pure pleasure in Leonskaja’s playing and that this in turn was a reflection of Leonskaja’s own energy. A wonderful exchange! Saturday’s concert was recorded and will be available to listen on the radio all this week but I hesitate to listen to it, as the memory of the feeling in the hall that accompanied the music is so precious to me. I think it unlikely that a live recording can capture that... love tt