Pianist Richard Goode deserves, as a person, to be considered one of the greatest American statesmen. Despite his first game of the season, his recital gathered Friday night at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, with audiences on every note he played. It was the culmination of a mini-residency including a masterclass open Thursday night with students from the School of Music and, before the concert, an interview with Donald Manildi, curator of the International Archives of Canada. piano in Maryland.
Goode's generally well thought out program was devoted to the first half of Viennese master classics. Haydn's Variations in F minor combined a fiery lyricism with a serious underlying current of relentless tragedy. An assortment of smaller pieces of Mozart, composed between 1782 and 1789, was skillfully combined to form an ad hoc suite, which was one of the highlights of the evening. Beethoven's highly appreciated Sonata "Lebewohl" or "Farewell" was brilliant and insightful.
After the intermission, Goode created a tormented and subdued atmosphere in Leos Janacek's "In the Mists" suite, with a palette of deliberately economical tones and dynamics. A group of Chopin, including the Impromptu of the soil, four Mazurkas and the Fa Minor Fantasy, was full of character, despite occasional overdoses of pedals. In response to the enthusiastic applause, Goode returned to the stage with a Chopin prelude and a William Byrd Pavane and Galliard as still.
Even the greatest musicians often tend to speed things up as they grow up. Goode, who turned 75 this year, is no exception. Especially in Beethoven's Sonata and Chopin's group, certain details and finesse of phrasing seemed hastily sacrificed. But to the great credit of his deeply cultivated musicality and contagious joy in the music he plays, Goode's recital was a source of joy and satisfaction.