Review Purcell Room recital, March 2004

by Sharona on March 11, 2004

“Joshua brought a freshness and clarity to the music that made it sound newly minted.

She brought a sparkle to Haydn 55th Piano Sonata, which took on a playful character beneath her fingers, while the set of variations that opened his 58th Sonata where richly elaborated and in the succeeding Rondo she conveyed as great enjoyment in her music-making as she gave to her audience.”

Sharona Joshua at the Purcell Room

In her Fortepiano Fantasy at the Purcell Room on 6 December, Sharona Joshua opened the ears of her audience to works by Mozart, Haydn and Carl Philipp Emanual Bach as they would have sounded to the composer contemporaries. Playing on her modern copy of a Viennese fortepiano built around 1795by the eminent instrument maker Johann Schantz, Joshua brought a freshness and clarity to the music that made it sound newly minted.

In Mozart D minor Fantasy k397 she explored the kaleidoscopic variations of mood which the composer heightened by dramatic pauses, cramming a rich tapestry of sound into this short work. The greater depth of the A minor Sonata K310/300d elicited from her a strongly felt dramatic response to its opening Allegro and a beautifully judged account of the slow movement.

In two pieces by CPE Bach Joshua rose to the improvisatory nature of the music; relishing its unpredictable twists and turns, she despatched the E flat Fantasy H277 with playing of sparkling virtuosity, and fully exploited the rapid succession of mood changes that the composer indulged in, in the C minor Rondo H283.

Haydn himself was an admirer of the pianos made by the Schantz brothers and owned more that one of them. He especially appreciated their lightness of tone, a notable quality of the sound that characterised Sharona Joshua playing of this 18th century music. She brought a sparkle to Haydn 55th Piano Sonata, which took on a playful character beneath her fingers, while the set of variations that opened his 58th Sonata where richly elaborated and in the succeeding Rondo she conveyed as great enjoyment in her music-making as she gave to her audience.

Margaret Davies
Musical Opinion March 2004

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: