Pianist Halim gives instrument emotion

Pianist Halim gives instrument emotion


A piano is a mechanical contraption but in the hands of an artist fired with romantic spirit, that contraption can suggest all of the human emotions.

Edwardus Halim, the Indonesian virtuoso, caused the piano to speak volumes Wednesday in a recital at Mount Mary College that would have made his mentor, Vladimir Horowitz, proud.

Halim has massive skill, impeccable musicianship and obvious dedication. Above all, he is in complete touch with the essence of the romantic period its introspection, its soulful tenderness and the formidable power with which it railed at the world’s confusions.

Slight of build and diffident of manner, Halim bending and swaying at the keyboard invokes the image of Horowitz. However, the young artist’s warm rapport with the audience is utterly un-Horowitz- like. The master suffered from terrifying stage fright. Halim pleasantly provided his own verbal program notes.

His program was a perfect exploitation of the piano’s potential: Beethoven’s diverse 32 Variations on an Original Theme in C Minor; Franz Schubert’s Impromptu in G- flat Major, Op. 90, No. 3; Robert Schumann’s monumental Fantasy in C Major, Op. 17; two “Poemes,” the “Black Mass” Sonata; two etudes by Scriabin; and two revealing sets by Liszt his virtually Impressionistic “Apparitions 1 and 2” and the delightful Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12.

The standing ovation the audience of about 300 gave him earned them a Horowitz-like moment of Chopin.

Copyright 1995

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