Review: Melvyn Tan Portsmouth Guildhall

Victor Ariat

Smooth sailing for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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It is scandalous that the Steinway grand piano bought for Portsmouth by public subscription in 1987 now languishes unused in the central library.

The council should move it to its natural home in the city’s only properly-appointed concert hall.

Still, Melvyn Tan’s recital on another Steinway in the Portsmouth Chamber Music series was masterly, notably in movements from Variations For Judith – music created by various composers as a tribute to Spitalfields Festival director Judith Serota.

The original 2012 set, using a theme made famous by Bach, proved notable for its concise quirkiness and depth of feeling.

Tan showed exquisite timing in Field’s music, then revelled in the genius of Chopin’s Opus 9 - illustrating his capacity to mould melody, harmony and rhythm into one irresistible unit.

MIKE ALLEN