Rapturous response to Tedeschi’s Rhapsody in Blue
Simon Tedeschi, one of Australia’s favourite piano virtuosos, brought the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall audience to its feet on 19 March 2023 with his performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Highlights of the performance were captured in words by Hugo Mathers (Limelight) and Daniel Kaan (Classikon).
A rampant rendition of Gershwin’s magnum opus.
Tedeschi’s solos were punctuated by liberal sprays of rubato – whimsically stopping and starting, then bursting through phrases – before rocking back on his stool and looking round at the band as if to say: “now, what’ve you got?”
Tedeschi and the SSO morphed and moulded for nearly 20 minutes to capture the sweeping range of this masterwork – at times bouncing to the steady tempo and procession of a strait-laced marching band, at others, speeding through the notes like they were simply in the way, relentlessly scrabbling to the end of the score.
In the style of true blues, the performance conjured both the chaotic, childish joy of carnivals and fair grounds, and the gushing, amorous euphoria of the “Love Theme”.
It was a rampant, distinctive performance, committing to awe, pizzazz and mischievous invention.
Tedeschi played passionately without swagger or exaggeration, but with humour, grace and style.
The performance had all the ease and playfulness inherent in this composition, yet was full of thrilling energy.
There were many school groups in the audience and they were clearly wrapped [sic] through the entire concert. A great tribute to the performers indeed.
Read the full Limelight review here and read the full Classikon review here.