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Zoe Ward
Upper Sixth
Worcester House

Lunchtime Recital: Ben Giebus

Lunchtime Recital: Ben Giebus

The weekly Lunchtime Recital routine has been flourishing this term with outstanding performances by Felicia Lane and Charles Vaughan in the past two weeks, so Ben Giebus had some mighty big boots to fill; and he certainly filled them.

On Tuesday 11th October I was lucky enough to attend Ben’s Lunchtime Recital in which he treated the audience to a magnificent range of piano solos. The Joseph Cooper Music School was filled with Ben’s eager East Town enthusiasts, and after a brief introduction by the one and only Mr Thomson-Glover, the concert began.

Ben started with Arabesque No. 1 Andantino con moto by Claude Debussy, a French composer and an integral figure in the European music culture of the twentieth century. Arabesque No. 1 Andantino con moto is unsurprisingly part of a pair of Arabesques, composed between the 1888 and 1891, when Debussy was only in his early thirties. Mr Giebus displayed his musical talent fluently as his fingers glided along the keys as if the piece was written for him. The Arabesque required steady pedal control, lightness of fingers for the consistent triads and arpeggios and contrasting dynamics; all of which Ben mastered. At the end of the solo, we were left wanting more as we loyally applauded Ben — he had certainly won over a few East Town cronies who had never heard of Debussy before, an achievement in itself!

Allegro by Johann Sebastian Bach (a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist) was next on the agenda, and was a lovely contrast to the debut piece. The light and bouncy rhythm differed to the legato style of the Arabesque and Ben managed both with what seemed like ease! The technique of staccato was employed (defined by the Collins English Dictionary as ‘(of notes) short, clipped and separate’) with control and clarity — difficult to do when simultaneously playing a distinct rhythm in the treble clef. Congratulation to Ben for this!

Closing the Recital was a real show-stopper. The most well known of the three pieces was left until last and we were mesmerized by Ben’s adaptation of Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne No.2, in E♭ major. The piece was composed between the years 1830–1832 and is one of Chopin’s most notable compositions. Similarly with Chopin’s other music, Nocturne No.2 has a dash of melancholy, despite the major key. There are many sections in this piece and the more they are repeated the more ornaments they contain. Ben’s fingers complied with the music and achieved the trills gracefully, whilst managing a waltz-like bass line; his hand’s were floating around the keyboard elegantly and swiftly, particularly in the finale where the tension increases and the music glides up the piano and ends peacefully, synonymous with the ‘nocturne’ title.

Well done Ben for a truly talented performance and I look forward to hearing you play in the future!

17 October 2011

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