Zoltàn Fejérvàri Concert

By Iride Aparicio

SILICON VALLEY, CA. It was announced in December, that the piano concert of  Award-Winning Classical Pianist Zoltàn Fejérvàri  was going to be the first LIVE concert in the HOME CONCERT HALL SERIES of the Steinway Society the Bay Area this year, and that the only difference in this concert was that people will have the option to either attend it in person, or to stream it and watch it at home. Sadly, because the Pandemic conditions did not improve, for the comfort and safety of all concert goers, which continues to be of great importance to the Steinway Society, ALL the Fejérvàri's LIVE concerts were cancelled and offered online only. Those patrons who had already bought a ticket for any of his concerts, however, were given the option to stream his concert online or to request a credit for a seat at a future LIVE concert, (or online) during the following twelve months. The cancellation of Pianist Fejérvàri's LIVE concert may have been a letdown for those in San José California who were aware that they lost the opportunity to actually see him playing the music of the world's great composers, since Fejérvàri is known as an interpreter of every nuance in the music he plays.

From the opening notes of his Online concert with Le Tombeau de Couperin by French Composer, pianist and conductor Maurice Ravel's (1875-1937) Fejérvàri demonstrated his complete command of his instrument.

Le Tombeau de Couperin (Usually Translated to English as The Tomb of Couperin) is translated wrong. The name "Tombeau," in French may be tomb, but in this case should be translated as a posthumous "tribute" or as a "memorial" written for a now dead person. In Ravel's case, his memorial was written for François Couperin (l668-l733) called "The Great" in Franc, where he is still described as "The father of French keyboard Music." During his life, the prolific composer wrote 234 pieces for the Harpsichord, which was the instrument that he played and fully understood and was familiar with its potentialities. Among his teaching tools, We should remember that Couperin was the writer of the Harpsichord Treatise that was used by J. S. Bach in his compositions.


During the first part of his streamed concert,Fejérvàri played the six movements of Ravel's suite for solo piano (believed to be composed between l914-l917). Even for a concert pianist, to play Ravel's six pieces is very difficult. One reason why is because Ravel composed each movement completely different from each other and each piece, has very fast key's changes, arpeggios, and hands cross overs and the music needs to be interpreted in a different way.. And maybe, because it was originally written for harpsichord, (which requires a softer key touch than the piano) playing it at the piano is more difficult because it requires dexterity, and very strong fingers. . More important to know is that for Ravel's music to sound properly, the pianist ought to be given Ravel's impressionistic sound Fejérvàri did that. His pieces included:

I L'Prelude.
A very fast piece which requires dexterity and the ability of the player to do fast changes in the dynamics of the sound, and during the changes to different keys.

II The Fugue
Played mostly with both hands together, thus requiring less dexterity on the fingers, and softer dynamics.

III The Forlane Allegro
This piece is really very difficult to interpret it. It is based on a motif (a short rhythmic or melodic passage which repeats) and jumps all over the keyboard. The problem is that when the motif is altered. the pianist needs to change the dynamics . Being Allegro, the speed is fast, and as the speed increases so does the sound. which get louder and louder before it dies.

IV Rigandon
In interpretation, we could say that this Loud and Fast movement piece was one the pianist best. With loud chords and fast scales up and down the keyboard it had vitality and in Fejérvàri's hands the piece sounded masterful.

V The Minuet
Ravel's Minuet, as its name indicates is rhythmic, and in it, Ravel included a theme which allows the audience to identify by repetition. We hear it several times at it moves on the piano higher sounding notes as it climbs higher and higher and then dies.   

VI The Toccata
This was another pice where the pianist excelled. the Toccata is Fast, loud, with and uses hands crossing. Through the whole piece all the fingers move fast, across the keyboards, up and down as we listen to a galloping sound in the background. His execution of the piece was wonderful.

And for a pianist who is famous for Interpreting his pieces, selecting The THE SEASONS, which are twelve different piano pieces by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (l840-l893) for the second part of his program, was the perfect choice. His interpretation of each one was so precise, that it evoke pictures in out minds.

January at the Fireside
Because of its title, the languid repetitious melody, played in the higher keys by the right hand, evokes the calm image of a elderly person, sitting on a chair by a fire place reading a book as the rolling up and down chords in the left hand, seem to imitate the flickering soft orange flames stretching on the hearth lapping the logs gently.

February Carnival
Is a complete contrast to the previous piece,  Carnival is a joyful piece played with both hands together in what we may describe as a "galloping sound". In his harmony, Carnival reflects happiness, noise, fast movements and loud laughter.

March Song of a Lark 
The piece is based on a beautiful-sounding melody (motif) that seem to transport us, mentally, to a calm quiet place that may be a lake, where we could hear, in its notes, the soft waves, the chirping of birds and the wind rustling through the the leaves of the trees.

April Snowdrop
In this piece, we are supposed to imagine April's snow falling gently. The melody is carried by the left hand, the snow, by five fast repetitious notes, played in the right hand, that may indicate a sudden drops falling over our shoulders.

May White Nights
The melody in this piece may be compared to a lullaby. The melodic Motif is short, heard in the right hand, its sound invoking a dark tropical sky full of stars. Because the melody of the piece has a mystic sound, it manages to elevate our spirit.

June La Barcarolle (The Góndola)
Composed by Tchaikovsky after observing the Italian gondoliers while vacationing in Italy, the piece was interpreted masterfully by the pianist. His contrasts in the dynamics of the music were well marked. The enchanting melody (motif) in the work, heard clearly, with the softer passages played with so much feeling that we could easily imagine ourselves sitting in a gondola floating through the channels in Venice.

July The Song of the Reaper.
Is mostly loud and rhythmic, with a beat of a march. Because of it, we can easily imagine a tall strong reaper about to start his work, walking across a field carrying a hoe over his left shoulder.

August Harvest.
This is a Presto piece rich in sounds and changes in dynamics. Vital, full of life, and with many changes of movements. Just like a harvest, with many long passages where. the pianist hands move together through the whole keyboard at a fast speed.  

September The Hunt.
The piece begins with the notes imitating the sound of the trumpet that is played at the start of a hunt with the purpose to gather all the horsemen hunters. . The music is loud, the notes repetitive and they move higher and higher on the piano's keyboard at Presto time to imitate the hunters' horses galloping at full speed across the fields following their running dogs.

October Autumn Song

The music of this piece is soft, its tempo slow like an Autumn breeze, giving us the feeling of watching a long row of Oak trees with trembling golden-color leaves shaking slowly on the branches before snapping from them and start dancing as they float gently on the air before they hit the ground.

November Troika
When named this piece Troika and starting it with a Russian- sounding motif that repeats, as it moves faster and faster all over the keyboard and then stops suddenly. Tchaikovsky was describing in music, the symbol of Russia, because. Troika Is the name given to a traditional Russian carriage drawn by a team of three horses harnessed abreast, which is and had been for years used by painters, as the symbol of Russia.

December Christmas
And Christmas, is a fast and joyful waltz-like piece of music based on a theme where the notes seem imitate the sound of bells chiming happily all over the keyboard from low to higher and higher tones..

After listening online to this concert, we can sincerely say that even streamed , Zoltàn Fejérvàri interpretation of the music was superb.