Classical review: Fali Pavri

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ALMOST as if they’d planned it, the pneumatic drill hit the concrete on the road outside just as Fali Pavri took his seat at the piano. The windows of the beautiful Merchants House main hall did their best to keep out the sound – but the biggest defence against noise pollution was Pavri himself.

Fali Pavri - Merchants House, Glasgow


From the opening chord of Bach’s Partita No. 6 to the last note of his Rachmaninov encore, he produced a sound so sublime, it rendered all outside interference irrelevant.

Bach’s notoriously complex seven-part Partita is only tackled by the most proficient pianists – and Pavri’s credentials on that front are flawless. It wasn’t just his technique, however, that made this piece soar – superb though that was – but the alternate tenderness and drama he invested in it.

Somewhat ironically, having breezed through the Bach, it was Schubert’s Impromptus Op 90 that broke Pavri out in a sweat – literally. Twice during the four pieces that comprise this diverse work, Pavri was forced to pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow – and for good reason.

There are so many textures to the work, from the deliciously dark Impromptu in C minor, through to the jaunty, quick-fire keys of Impromptu in A flat major, and Pavri poured his heart and soul into them all. Remarkably, this was the first time he had performed the piece in public, but his claim to be “a little bit nervous” only served to give his performance an electric edge.

Seen on 05.06.14