Occasionally you attend a solo recital that reaffirms your belief in the importance of the genre and the concert at the packed Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House by the cellist Gavriel Lipkind was one of those events. A musician of profound insight and truly amazing technique, Lipkind captivated the audience from the very first note of Introduzione e Danza Finale by Cassado/ arr. Lipkind. So quiet was the first note that it seemed to come from nowhere before taking us on a voyage of various cello techniques designed to elicit excitement in the listener.
The Suite no.3 BWV 1009 by Bach opened with a dazzling Prelude and Allemande before an appropriately bouncy Courante. The Sarabande with only a small amount of vibrato gave a nod to current ideas of original instrument performance practice and the two Minuets were given much light and shade. The Gigue was truly awe inspiring.
Idiosyncratic is the best way to describe parts of the Suite no.6 BWV1012 but it still gave much satisfaction. Lipkind convinces the listener that his interpretation is not only valid but an important contribution to the body of Bach Suite performances.
The Sonata for Solo Cello by the Hungarian master Gyorgy Ligeti was the absolute highlight of the evening. As throughout the concert the exemplary intonation and the stunning abilities of Lipkind gave this Bartok/Kodaly flavoured early work a performance that would leave every audience member wanting more. This was a definitive interpretation.
Lipkind gives the impression that he is completely at one with his instrument and indeed he conveys that he thinks the music into existence from that position. This is cello music. You may find disagreement with some interpretations but the perfection of his playing leads the listener to an elevated space. This recital will linger in the memory for a very long time.
Christopher Pidcock of CP Productions is to be commended for bringing to Australia this celebrated artist.
Gavriel Lipkind – solo cello, Bible of the Cello | 10th March, 2017 | Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House