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Mozart and Chopin – a dream becomes sound

Concert with the Australian pianist Gil Sullivan at the Spaichingen Pianoforte manufacturer

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, to whom Gil Sullivan is completely devoted, expectedly was a big focus of the night, in the concert hall in which only very few chairs remained empty. If anyone expected shallow, sweetly radiant playing, they certainly would have been disappointed; Sullivan’s Mozart is nothing like this. If one wanted to compare his playing with one of his renowned colleagues, one would think, if anybody, of Glenn Gould and Elly Ney – his interpretation is probably something like a "synthesis" of these two Mozart interpretations.

He sets accents in ways which one only gets to hear very rarely or never: His playing of Mozart is unique: With the sonatas in A major and B flat major the performance became an event. In addition, Gil Sullivan proved to be a magnificent presenter, with a profound musical knowledge; he personally explained all pieces – to the regret of some listeners - only in English. After Mozart, Sullivan continued with his compatriot Tristram Cary. During the past decades, Cary predominately became known as creator of film music. Sullivan presented his seven-movement Suite "Polly Fillers" – an extraordinarily original, partly funny and ironic composition - with virtuosity, and also with very typical elements.

For the ending, we went into the romantic era, with three Polonaises by Chopin (no.s 2, 4 and 6). Sometimes melancholic and dark, then again with powerful sounds and intoxicating virtuosity, the Australian artist ultimately put his listeners under his spell. And in the truest sense of the word it was demonstrated not only with a dramatic power of sound; what a great spectrum of dynamics and sound colours he unveiled!! As an encore, Gil Sullivan played Chopin’s well-known and so-called “rain drop prelude” for the enthused and thankful audience: a lyrical conclusion to an evening that one probably won’t ever forget – a great moment of piano music.

Alfred Thiele (Spaichingen Zeitung)
25.11.09