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Gil Sullivan, Pianist in Review

Gil Sullivan, Pianist in Review MidAmerica Productions Presents: Gil Sullivan, piano Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, New Yor , NY !ecem"er #$, %&#' (n a program presented ") MidAmerica productions, Australian pianist Gil Sullivan o**ered a program o* Mo+art, ,ra-ms, and wor s ") -is compatriot, .ulian Coc-ran/ 0-e glo"etrotting Mr/ Sullivan sports an impressive resume, wit- appearances in man) o* t-e world1s most renowned -alls/ 2pening wit- Mo+art3s Sonata in 4 ma5or, 6/ 7''89:9, t-e dou"le 6;c-el num"er re*erring to t-e Rondo *inale "eing composed well "e*ore t-e *irst two movements, Mr/ Sullivan gave ample proo* t-at -is sterling reputation as a interpreter o* Mo+art is well deserved/ He o**ered a per*ormance t-at e<plored t-e dept-s o* one o* Mo+art1s most pro*ound piano wor s witrestrained, care*ul rendering and especial attention to matters o* tone and p-rasing/ A*ter t-e Mo+art, Mr/ Sullivan pla)ed *our wor s =wit- a "rea *or intermission a*ter t-e *irst two> ") *ellow Australian .ulian Coc-ran/ .ulian Coc-ran ="/ #:?9> was "orn in Cam"ridge, @ngland, "ut immigrated to Australia in #:?A/ Mr/ Coc-ran is a mat-ematician speciali+ing in Pure Mat-ematics, "ut -as dedicated -is talents more *ull) now towards music, as "ot- a pianist and a composer/ W-en one -ears mat-ematician and composer in t-e same sentence, it is not at all unreasona"le to t-in o* names li e ,a""itt and Bena is, and to e<pect a similarit) o* st)le wit- a mat-ematical "ase/ Suc- was not t-e case/ 0-e multiCtalented Mr/ Coc-ran is a t-row"ac to t-e Romantic and (mpressionistic traditions o* t-e piano, using t-e musical language o* C-opin, Dis+t, !e"uss), and Ravel, amongst ot-ers, in a -ig-l) individualistic, nonCderivative manner/ 2n t-e program were two Preludes and two Ma+ur as *rom -is pen/ Prelude No/? =%&#&> is a wor t-at -as a t-eme t-at wit- a distinctl) RomanianCinspired *ol *eeling/ Eariations on t-is t-eme are done in a similar *ol st)le, "uilding to a power*ul clima< wit- "ellCli e sounds t-at slowl) *ade into silence/ (n -is notes a"out Prelude No/ A =%&#&>, t-e composer ma es re*erence to t-e nature o* t-e ocean and t-e swirling opening su"5ect/ ( was reminded o* Ondine *rom Gaspard de la Nuit, "ut wit- t-e additional twists -ear ening "ac to moti*s o* Dis+t, !e"uss), and even Rac-manino**/ (t is a wor t-at is alternatel) serene and unsettled, glistening and tur"ulent/ (t "uilds to a "rilliant clima<, and t-en recedes into a Fuiet ending/ Muc- li e Ondine, t-is wor reFuires a *ormida"le tec-niFue, w-ic- Mr/ Sullivan possesses/ (t was an outstanding per*ormance o* a stri ing wor and a *ine ending to t-e *irst -al*/ A*ter intermission, ne<t up were Ma+ur as Nos/9 and 7/ Ma+ur a No/ 9 =%&&:> is a wor t-at could "e called C-opin1s Nig-tmare/ (t -as t-e Fualities o* an unsettled dream wit- t-e -armonic language almost moc ingl) omitting t-e *i*t- tone o* t-e minor scale at all turns, w-ile

augmenting t-e *ourt- and diminis-ing t-e si<t-/ 0-is Ma+ur a "ecomes a wild, dervis-Cli e dance "ordering on t-e grotesFue "e*ore returning to t-e original t-eme/ A"out Ma+ur a No/ 7 =%&&:, revised %&#&>, t-e composer writes t-at t-is wor Gma) remind us o* RavelH/ (ndeed, one can detect -ints o* Ravel1s La Valse in t-is wor / 0-e writing is -ig-l) virtuosic, and in t-e -ands o* Mr/ Sullivan it was given a master*ul per*ormance t-at accentuated its "rilliance/ Mr/ Coc-ran was in attendance and 5oined Mr/ Sullivan *or "ows on stage/ 0-is is a composer w-o -as learned -is lessons well *rom t-e old masters w-ile leaving -is own distinctive mar / ( would li e to -ear more *rom Mr/ Coc-ran in t-e *uture/ @nding t-e program wit- ,ra-ms1s Sonata No/ % in 4Cs-arp minor, 2p/%, Mr/ Sullivan s-owed -imsel* to "e as com*orta"le in t-is massive structure as -e was in t-e sparseness o* t-e Mo+art/ 0-is wor o* a )oung ,ra-ms is pac ed wit- "old ideas, virtuosic demands, and s)mp-onic Fualities t-at owe muc- to Ro"ert Sc-umann1s in*luence/ (t is "ras- and designed to impress, and in t-is respect Mr/ Sullivan delivered a powerCpac ed per*ormance/ (t was an e<citing close to t-e concert ") a pianist possessed o* intelligence and tec-nical prowess in eFual measure/ As an encore, Mr/ Sullivan o**ered t-e AC*lat Polonaise, 2p/ 7' o* C-opin, t-e Heroic, w-ic- -e pla)ed in an e<citing and -ig-l) individualistic manner =wit- li"erties and additions to t-e score>/ 0-e *ullC-ouse audience loved it and roared t-eir collective approval in a raucous ovation/ Jeffrey Williams *or New Yor Concert ReviewI New Yor , NY