Stories » Jonathan Biss and Lisa Batiashvili play Schumann at Wigmore Hall / The Independent

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Jonathan Biss and Lisa Batiashvili play Schumann at Wigmore Hall / The Independent

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An invitation to be artist-in-residence at the Wigmore comes with strings attached: you must not only play, you must give masterclasses and you must devise chamber concerts and draft in friends to perform them. Thus it was that the French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras came to preside over a concert with his compatriot the violist Antoine Tamestit, the Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili and the American pianist Jonathan Biss, in which two neglected works by Schumann and Martinu were brilliantly brought into the limelight.

The first of these was Schumann's "3 Romances, Opus 94", written in that composer's last prolific period before his final descent into madness. In this work it was interesting to see how Biss – best known for his electrifying Beethoven – tempered his style to match the graceful expressiveness of Queyras's playing: "innig" – inward – was the instruction on the second Romance, but it could have referred to all three with their warm autumnal glow. The second work was Martinu's "Duo for Violin and Cello No 1", and here Batiashvili was joined by Tamestit for a performance of steadily intensifying virtuosity. Schumann's "Piano Quartet in E flat" brought all four players together, the supreme confidence of its conception evoking the same mood in its exponents.

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