One of the special pleasures of the Music Niagara season is the Showcase of Young Virtuosos series. It’s always instructive to hear and see the next generation of performers begin to share the current state of their emerging art under public scrutiny. Who knows when tomorrow’s concerto superstar or orchestral leaders will foreshadow their position into musical life?
Amadeusz Kazubowski-Houston’s piano recital was a fascinating peek into a young mind at work. Barely a teenager, the thoughtful musician presented a recital of romantic/contemporary repertoire that accomplished pianists many years his senior would still find challenging.
The wisdom of selecting this program must, presumably, fall to the artistic trust (frequently teachers, mentors and family) that is responsible for the nurture, development and care of Kazubowski-Houston’s considerable talent.
Despite the allure of Chopin’s incredible emotional range and Muczynski’s technical pyrotechnics, including the fundamentals of, say, Scarlatti, Bach and Mozart might have provided more insights into the “artist at work.” Playing beneath and beyond their deceptive simplicity is one of the first signs of artistic maturity
At his best, Muczynski’s Toccata fired on all cylinders, demonstrating a sure technique and courageous abandon. Wanting a second outing for full disclosure of the artistic temperament was Chopin’s B-minor Scherzo whose “schziophrenetic” lines and structure were frequently overshadowed by “too many notes” and not enough weight in the bass (as opposed to volume) of the left hand.
Happily, the vrai encore (the final passages of the just-heard Scherzo), with the initial pressure “off,” revealed the promise (truly ringing upper registers despite a reluctant Yamaha instrument—cross-reference below—a couple of unwritten/always-wanted “breaths”) of a musician who happens to be a pianist (too many of the contrary currently abound).
Let’s hope Kazubowski-Houston is allowed to develop at his own pace, unhurried. The concert stages of future generations will be forever thankful. JWR