There was definitely a sense of frisson and excitement among the capacity audience, in anticipation of the Inaugural Musica Viva concert in Levinsky Hall, on the Plymouth university campus.
Since American concert-pianist and academic took over the role of Music Director at the University of Plymouth Arts Centre in 2018, one of his many achievements was to initiate the Musica Viva Concert Series, in which he, and a number of international colleagues, had entertained city music aficionados, with events in a variety of different genres.
But these had largely taken place in the Sherwell Centre, where arguably one of the city’s best Steinway Grand Pianos is housed. The fact that the present event has the ‘inaugural’ tag refers to the fact that it is the first event to take place on the same piano, but with it shifted across the campus to its new home in the iconic Roland Levinsky Building – Lecture Theatre One.
Tweaks and changes
But this had had some significant work done, in order to tweak the original ‘lecture-hall’ acoustics into that of a purpose-built concert hall, and especially to complement the sound of the ‘new’ piano. Not only were there a number of structural changes, but the hall has been renamed the ‘Levinsky Hall’, in honour of Professor Roland Levinsky, whose last post, which he held at the time of his tragic and untimely death in 2007, was as the university’s Vice-Chancellor.
Wealth of knowledge
Bob Taub’s recital of music by Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin, began with the now-expected pre-concert talk, a wealth of knowledge condensed into a mere half hour, and uniquely of real interest both to the seasoned concert-goer, as well as any university student, attending this kind of event, perhaps, for their very first time.
Dr Taub then briefly left the stage, only to return moments later, to take his obligatory bow, before sitting down at the keyboard to start the recital proper.
What happened next, though, made all of the recent bizarre happenings at Westminster appear absolutely normal, and not untoward, in any way.
But you’ll need to read my full review at Seen and Heard International, if you want to find out what happened next.
Philip R Buttall
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