Startling progress from Ellis whose career I have followed closely. He has appeared regularly at our Club.
This week he gave a recital in Conwy with Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin, Ligeti and more.
Remarkable accuracy and clarity (he doesn’t overpedal) alongside an understanding of the music.
What knocked me back were the 3 Ligeti Etudes – these are not my regular listening but I have a CD of them and have heard Aimard playing some of them on radio. Ellis gave us 3 of them. These pieces are technically tough and difficult to memorise. With, say, Mozart we all feel what is coming next if we know Mozart a bit and it makes learning easy – but with Ligeti all those rules are out of the window. My wife once told me that reading Georges Bataille was shockingly difficult because once the sentence began the reader would assume how it might develop only to find it going somewhere quite else – Ligeti is a bit like that.
All I can say is that those present were deeply fortunate to have heard this recital. We had another one like it in the club last season with Matthew McLachlan. Ellis returns to the Club twice this season with the 5 Beethoven Cello Sonatas and for the following season we are developing a new project which we will announce in due course.
In the meantime – give the Conwy Festival a go www.conwyclassicalmusic.co.uk