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Ingolf Wunder

Debut at London QEH

Ingolf Wunder came away from the 2010 Chopin competition in Warsaw with prizes for the best concerto performance and the best Polonaise-Fantasy, even though he only came second overall. It has taken a while for the 28-year-old Austrian to get noticed in London; this recital in the Southbanks international piano series was his first at the venue. He will surely be back very soon, however; its a long time since Ive heard a young pianist make such an impression on his debut in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
On this evidence, Wunder seems a fearless player, with a totally secure technique that he never flaunts unnecessarily, and the musical intelligence to put it to good use. That fearlessness is clear in his programming, too: this recital was not a sequence of jewelled miniatures designed to charm and beguile, or of showpieces intended to impress, but serious and muscular music-making, which opened with Beethovens Eroica Variations and ended with Liszts monumental B minor Sonata. Just to show that Wunder can charm and beguile as well as anyone, there was some Chopin in between: the B major Nocturne Op 9 No 1, spun out like the finest silk, and the Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, equally ravishing to begin with, and then wonderfully paced and varied as the tension mounted towards the close.
It was difficult to imagine that the pianist who could float a line so exquisitely in Chopin could make Beethovens variations so earthily direct and physical, almost challenging, or generate as much dramatic excitement in the Liszt, while ensuring that every section of the Sonata was clear within its overall scheme. In both works, the security of the playing was taken for granted and it wasnt until the encore, Arcadi Volodoss gleefully OTT paraphrase of Mozarts Rondo alla Turca, that Wunder showed that he can strut his stuff as flagrantly as any flashier pianist. A wonderful recital.

21.03.2014

Debut at London QEH

Ingolf Wunder came away from the 2010 Chopin competition in Warsaw with prizes for the best concerto performance and the best Polonaise-Fantasy, even though he only came second overall. It has taken a while for the 28-year-old Austrian to get noticed in London; this recital in the Southbanks international piano series was his first at the venue. He will surely be back very soon, however; its a long time since Ive heard a young pianist make such an impression on his debut in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
On this evidence, Wunder seems a fearless player, with a totally secure technique that he never flaunts unnecessarily, and the musical intelligence to put it to good use. That fearlessness is clear in his programming, too: this recital was not a sequence of jewelled miniatures designed to charm and beguile, or of showpieces intended to impress, but serious and muscular music-making, which opened with Beethovens Eroica Variations and ended with Liszts monumental B minor Sonata. Just to show that Wunder can charm and beguile as well as anyone, there was some Chopin in between: the B major Nocturne Op 9 No 1, spun out like the finest silk, and the Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, equally ravishing to begin with, and then wonderfully paced and varied as the tension mounted towards the close.
It was difficult to imagine that the pianist who could float a line so exquisitely in Chopin could make Beethovens variations so earthily direct and physical, almost challenging, or generate as much dramatic excitement in the Liszt, while ensuring that every section of the Sonata was clear within its overall scheme. In both works, the security of the playing was taken for granted and it wasnt until the encore, Arcadi Volodoss gleefully OTT paraphrase of Mozarts Rondo alla Turca, that Wunder showed that he can strut his stuff as flagrantly as any flashier pianist. A wonderful recital.

21.03.2014