Mindru Katz plays with intensity

Israeli pianist Mindru Katz’s total involvement in the music he is playing makes his performance (City Hall, Bulawayo, last night) often as urgent and intense as the act of composition must have been.

This is not to imply that his musical effects are accidental or undisciplined.

On the contrary, he exhibits at all times an intellectual control that can result only from meticulous listening to the sounds he is making and weighing them against an imagined ideal.

His very personal approach has dangers. In Bach’s Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue his freedom of pedal and dynamics made no concession to historical purism, with the result that the emotional content became too explicit, the effect too “romantic”.

Control of Tone

The bell-like treble cantilena of the Haydn Air and Variations hinted at the consummate control of tone color which made his performance of the Debussy Preludes Book 1 infinitely subtle and thrilling, as he explored the composer’s demonstration of the elemental and the sophisticated.

The Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 31 No. 2 (Tempest) was a tour de force of controlled turbulence and had at least this one listener on the edge of the seat.

The detachee bass rumblings threatening the uneasy song of the slow movement and the taut rhythmical irresolution of the finale remain to haunt. Bravo!

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