70th birthday series in London, October 2017 – March 2018
St Johnʼs Smith Square, 26 November 2017 Review
“To celebrate his 70th birthday, Julian Jacobson has been giving a series of recitals at St John’s Smith Square. In his hands, the opening Allegro of Schubert’s Sonata in D major D850 went like a whirlwind, with powerful waves of semi-quaver triplets crashing on to big chordal rocks; in the Andante, there was steel in his sound at the outset, and intense charm on its decorated return. He met inventively the challenge of the Scherzo – how to colour and characterise different stations along the movement’s meandering route – and his delivery of the tongue-in-cheek metronomic finale was fanciful.”
Review of the second concert on November 26
“In the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata Jacobson’s sound had a restrained grandeur, and – as he had promised before beginning that work – he included a note in the Allegretto’s theme which nobody else has thought to observe, but which even glance at the manuscript would confirm as Beethoven’s intention. So what if it resulted in that harmonic no-no, consecutive fifths? So what indeed. After all this, Prokofiev’s seventh sonata gave him the excuse for a lot more virtuosity; the second movement became a tone poem, and the finale was a pure distillation of volcanic energy. Nice to round things off with Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat major, nobly conceived.”
—Michael Church, International Piano Magazine
After two very succesful concerts in October and November, Julian’s 70th birthday series at St John’s Smith Square London concludes with two final concerts on February 11 and March 11. For the last concert he is joined by his duo partner Mariko Brown for the public London premiere of his own virtuoso piano duet transcription of Gershwin’s great tone poem “An American in Paris” – complete with taxi horns!
More info about Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown as a piano duo here: https://marikojulianpianoduo.com/
“…Jacobson’s focused, colourful playing brought alive Beethoven’s late gems with thrilling drama…”
Read more here…..
Musical Opinion Quarterly
“…A disarming technique coupled with an undoubted intellectual mastery
made Julian Jacobson’s recital an awe-inspiring experience…”
“…Real poise, delicacy of touch and judicious pedalling… stylish and enchanting…”
“…this major British voice in world-ranking pianism, so justly celebrated by his faithful following…”
Music & Vision Daily