Mitsuko Uchida has become a Festival favourite over the years, and is one of a few pianists who can fill the Usher Hall on her own. Her fans are not dissapointed by her delicate and poetic concert tonight, which begins with Mozart’s so called “Sonata Facile” (Sonata No. 16 in C, K 545), although few could play it as expressively as Uchida.
Interestingly, she pairs this with a take off of the Mozart by the young German composer, Jörg Widmann, whose Sonatina Facile is certainly not as easy as Mozart’s, but Uchida’s interpretation makes it come alive and even sound quite melodic in its closing passage.
However, at the heart of the concert are two works by Schumann. First, his Kreisleriana, which apparently he wrote in four days, yet is a dark and a complex work which Uchida interprets beautifully. She finishes with Schumann’s Fantasie in C, dedicated to Lizst. Here, she displays her complete virtuosity over the piano, without a note in front of her. When it ends, the Usher Hall remains silent, until the audience finally utter a roar of approval: she has conquered the Usher Hall once again.