Juho Pohjonen at Meany
Tonight at Meany Hall I found Juho Pohjonen to be a distinctive pianist. The program:
- J.S. Bach: Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903
This was all clarity and strong delineation, but never dry.
- César Franck: Prelude, Choral et Fugue, FWV 21
I love this music, and I've heard many recordings, but this was still different, and really good, though not what I expected having just heard Pohjonen's approach to the Bach. Where the music is crepuscular his playing was especially so, skittering over the surface of dark waters. Overall there was strong contrast and characterization, making the dark-to-light arc especially vivid. There is a section in the ending where all the themes are layered together: here it was a chaotic struggle, an emotional battle. Epic!
- Mozart: Prelude and Fugue in C Major K. 394/383a
Turns out I didn't really know this piece, and it's a good one.
- Schubert: Fantasie in C Major, Op. 15, D. 760 “Wanderer”
For the first time, the Wanderer Fantasy did not irritate me. It's a rockin' piece that's often bashed to death, but there was a lot of color and fun in Pohjonen's take on it.