Sunday, 19 July 2015

Dept. of Unabashed Pluggery

Mirare MIR 213 front 19-Jul-15

Variations on a Theme by Scarlatti
Matan Porat (piano)
(recorded 28 to 30 January 2013)
Mirare MIR 213

Some time ago I was given the above CD, which is very, very fine. I haven’t met the pianist, who’s also a composer, and was born in Tel Aviv in 1982, but I know his father (who kindly gave me the CD). Porat’s programme is brilliantly inventive, a 69-minute segue from Scarlatti to Boulez (and Porat himself) and back again, and it’s superbly played. Trust me. Or go to the CD’s listing on Amazon and read my review. (I’m gratified to see that Porat’s disc has received two more, just as positive, since I wrote mine.)

So I was very happy, the other day, to learn that Porat is giving a solo recital a week from now, on Sunday 26 July at 7:30 p.m., in one of London’s smaller but most cherished venues: the Wigmore Hall. And what a programme – it’s as if he’d consulted me before choosing it (as if…). To start, Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata, followed by most of a suite from Rameau’s Nouvelles suites de pieces de clavecin (played on the piano), the one in a minor which ends with the famous Gavotte avec six doubles. And in the second half, one of my favourite sonatas by Schubert, the great A major D.959.

Normally, I have dinner with my mother on Sunday – but we’re taking her to the opera tomorrow, and this concert promises to be too good to miss! Sorry, Ma. You can buy tickets via the concert’s listing on the Wigmore Hall’s website.

For once, nothing to be grumpy about.

Oh, and on the subject of Rameau, and while I’m plugging, here’s another, for that incomparable blogger Shellackophile. Ten days ago he kindly posted his transfer of a 1926 Brunswick disc which I’d requested, of the American harpsichordist Lewis Roberts playing pieces by, >ahem< ‘Rameau’ and ‘Ayrlton’. It comes at the end of a fascinating post about an all-but forgotten American ‘ancient music’ ensemble of the same period. They turn out to be related. Do read and enjoy Shellackophile’s post here.

UPDATE: Read David Nice’s excellent review of Matan Porat’s concert for The Arts Desk here.


  1. Thanks for the plug, Nick! I hadn't heard of Matan Porat, but your post intrigues me, so I shall have to send off for the CD!

    1. Thank you, Bryan, for everything you do! And I hope you enjoy Matan's CD. All the best, Nick