Stories » Murray Perahia hits all the right notes at Orchestra Hall / Chicago Tribune

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Murray Perahia hits all the right notes at Orchestra Hall / Chicago Tribune

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The program was characteristically conservative: Bach, Schubert and Beethoven. The playing was responsive to every marking in the scores. The interpretations were as finely reasoned as that of any great artist who has reached the age of 70. If there was any falling short - the admiring audience apparently heard none - it was owing to the nature of the piece that closed the afternoon, an unruly monument so large that no matter the extent of a performer's effort the work always seems to demand more.

Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29, called the "Hammerklavier," is the composer's longest and most complex and elusive piece for a solo instrument. The speed at which its first and third movements are to be played is still, almost 200 years after their completion, a matter of dispute. Its outbursts of passion, playfulness, grief and wildness remain both physically difficult to perform and emotionally resistant to attempts at easy reconciliation. Wisely, Perahia offered no encores after the "Hammerklavier."
PHOTO: (Tom Van Dyke / Chicago Tribune)  

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