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English pianist Simon Callaghan presented an evening of captivating sound and fantasy which was rightly celebrated with enthusiastic ‘bravi’

Kkieler Nachrichten, Michael Struck

English pianist Simon Callaghan presented an evening of captivating sound and fantasy which was rightly celebrated with enthusiastic ‘bravi’.  Now the Steinway began once again to sing, to whisper and to declaim unforcedly.

Arnold Bax’s Two Russian Tone Pictures anglicise and modernise the intonation of Balakirev in a piquant manner.   In Roger Sacheverell Coke (1912-1972) one discovered a composer almost entirely unknown even in England, whose more than half an hour long 15 Variations and Finale Op.37 are noble, pianistically charming, and formally following a little in the footsteps of Rachmaninov.  For dessert Callaghan served Stephen Hough’s colourful arrangements of four songs from musicals by Rogers and Hammerstein and for coffee, some more Coke (three of the preludes).

This was Husum, as it should be.

The above is a loose translation of the original German text:

Betörende Klang- und Gestaltungsfantasie entfaltete abends der Engländer Simon Callaghan und wurde mit Recht bravolaut gefeiert. Jetzt begann der Steinway wieder zu singen, zu flüstern und unforciert zu deklamieren. Arnold Bax‘ Two Russian Tone-Pictures anglisieren und modernisieren Tonfälle eines Balakirew auf pikante Weise. Mit Roger Sacheverell Coke (1912–1972) lernte man einen selbst in England nahezu unbekannten Komponisten kennen. Dessen mehr als halbstündige 15 Variations & Finale op. 37 sind ein nobel-pathetisches, pianistisch reizvolles, formal ein wenig in die Breite gehendes Werk in der Rachmaninow-Nachfolge.  Als Dessert servierte Callaghan Stephen Houghs farbige Bearbeitungen vier populärer Musical-Songs von Rodgers & Hammerstein und gleichsam zum Kaffee noch einmal Coke (drei der Préludes). Das war Husum, wie es sein soll.

The concert

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