Matthew Bengtson at Penn

Bravo to Matthew Bengtson on his splendid recital this past Wednesday at Penn, the last event in the “Eighty-Eight Lately” piano series. He took on a formidable program, with music by Melinda Wagner, Berio, Carter, Nancarrow, Ligeti, Takemitsu and Bolcom. I was impressed from beginning to end, but some highlights included Matt’s management of the fantastical rhythmic knots created by Nancarrow in one of his Canons for Ursula; the power of Ligeti’s Automne à Varsovie; the astonishing rasping sound he got from the arpeggiated dense chords in Bolcom’s Premonitions (from the Twelve New Etudes), and the subtle colors of Takemitsu’s Les yeux clos II.

Here’s Matt performing the Nancarrow a few years ago:

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