Musical Opinion

The young pianist and composer Christopher Langdown’s programme at Wigmore Hall on June 9 th was certainly a demanding one, but a challenge to which he rose admirably. The range of repertoire appeared on paper to be particularly wide, but in practice subtle threads ran between the pieces, from Beethoven’s Tempest Sonata (Opus 31 No 2) which was extremely well played, to late-19 th – early-20 th century groups of pieces from Poland, France, Russia and Britain (if one includes Bridge’s Dramatic Fantasia as an essential ‘grouping’ of textural ideas). Throughout the evening, Langdown’s playing was exemplary: it was a great pleasure to hear Moszkowski’s four Moments Musicaux Opus 84 in total, for audiences hardly ever get the chance to experience such outstandingly well written music (in terms of the keyboard) as this, the more so for being so very well conveyed by this pianist, who also found himself thoroughly at home in the Impressionistic mastery of Debussy’s Second Book of Preludes and the more introspective colourings of five of Scriabin’s early Études, alongside Bridge’s powerfully combative piece. With such undoubted musicality and total pianistic technique at his disposal, we looked forward to Langdown’s own work, Deo Omnis Gloria , a striking and original piece of positive and compelling expression which was also extremely well laid out for the instrument. Needless to say, the performance was thoroughly convincing, and we look forward to hearing more of this fine musician’s work.

—Alexander Leonard