During the pandemic, we presented a short online performance by Tomasz Ritter, winner of the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in 2018. We are overjoyed that Tomasz will finally be making his debut in Vancouver this season.
Regarding his performance at that competition, Witold Paprocki writes, “Ritter’s performance draws attention to the deliberate, consistent concept of interpretation and the ability to use the display of virtuosity to highlight the music’s expressive qualities.” Of his performance of Chopin’s 1st piano concerto, veteran critic Michael Moran writes, “So many levels of expression were present here, some bordering on the divine.” The same writer comments on Ritter’s performance of Chopin’s Op. 33 Mazurkas, “His pauses were eloquent and emotionally charged. There were heartbreaking moments of the conclusion of this (B minor) mazurka.”
Although equally comfortable with the modern piano, Ritter has been involved with early instruments since the age of 12. He is already a veteran of the concert stage, having performed extensively throughout the music world. In 2014, he released his first album featuring works by Bach, Beethoven, Szymanowski and Ginastera for the Polskie Nagrania label.
We thank Suzie LeBlanc and our friends at Early Music Vancouver for the loan of their beautiful 1819 Conrad Graf piano, built by master instrument builder Paul McNulty, on which Ritter will perform.
BACH / BRAHMS – Chaconne in D minor
CHOPIN – Nocturne in F major op. 15; Nocturne in B flat minor op.9
BEETHOVEN – Sonata in E major op. 109
- Vivace, adagio espressivo
- Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo
MOZART – Fantaisie in C minor K 475
SCHUBERT – Sonata in C minor D 958
- Menuetto. Allegro – Trio
He showed affecting, passionate lyricism and the overtones of the period instrument gave a warm watercolour diffuseness to the soundscape in pianissimo performance. His rubato was emotional yet I still felt a certain diminishment of poetry and sensibility. There were inspiring elements of chiaroscuro sound, colour and a fine balance of the ‘registers’ of period pianos was preserved. (Michael Moran, critic)
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