Mark Westcott Artist, Piano Teacher, Lecturer, Author

Success of a Pianist

In everyday music which presents us so much thoughtless thundering of keys, slick perfection and vain magic of sound, it is a rare stroke of luck when one learns to know a pianist whose playing leaves nothing to criticize. At the piano evening (concert) of Mark Westcott that was the case. In inexplicable ways the simple relationship between interpreter and audience arose. One simply sat and heard music.

Therefore we are not asking curiously here how Westcott did this or that how his tempi, his touch, his legato, his soft singing tone, and his never waning strength are founded. All things technically functioned particularly confidently and became a side issue; as is taken for granted with the rising generation of American pianists.

Equipped with such capabilities Westcott could devote himself fully and completely to interpretation which emphasized the juxtaposition of value opposites forming unified and tightly knitted wholes. He exhibited artistic maturity which was as astonishing as it was admirable.

He began with Bach's Partita in E minor BWB 830. Free from every effort to be imitative of the tone of the cembalo, he conjured up the wide range of true baroque expression. The polyphonic weaving moved into the background and the different sentiments of each dance came to the fore. Johann Sebastian's sharp contours were immersed in swimming forms and tender colors. It was a Bach interpretation which puts Westcott in the league with Wilhelm Kempff.

After a small breathing pause, the Schubert's Deutschen Tanze, Opus 33, Westcott played with much energy, a sonata of his countryman Donald Keats in the auditorium of the Hochschule. It is a very bravura piece, suited for a traveling virtuoso.

Westcott threw himself into this virtuosic "SCHNICK-SCHNAK" with such spontaneous joy that one almost feared he might deal similarly with the F minor Sonata of Brahms. The fears were unfounded. This grandiose work of a twenty year old seemed to lie particularly well for him. Perhaps the common age of the composer and interpreter, despite a hundred years difference in time, tied the knot. Free from mannerisms, without set-up effects not pride, Westcott mastered a sovereignty the fullness of thought of Brahms' Sturm-und-Drang days. A mature performance was rightly celebrated with uproarious applause and calls of "Bravo".

Wolfgang Schultze

Copied by Ben Serna-Grey

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