BWW Review: ROMAIN SOUCHON at Kinneksbond
There are some days when you feel like playing the piano is the easiest thing in the world. Last Wednesday, the Kinneksbond cultural centre welcomed Romain Souchon, a young pianist of notable talent, who played several interesting versions of well-known classics. While the venue has room for a considerably large audience, the producers decided to create a more familiar atmosphere by opening the stage to the public. Several chairs and small tables were placed around Souchon's piano, and an improvised bar was set up close to the curtain, allowing for the audience to socialize both before and after the show.
One of the first songs started with the initial notes of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, a classic known to virtually everyone in the audience, but it soon picked up a much faster pace, in which the young artist's fingers seemed to fly across the keyboard at an incredible speed. There are times when you watch a performer and realize that you could never do what they are doing. Yet there are other times, when we reach such a level of grace and lightness that things simply seem natural. An immediate instinct might make us feel that what seems natural is, by extension, normal or easy, when it is, in fact, spectacular. It's a delightful paradox that plagues great artists and Souchon did make it look as if playing a timeless masterpiece was utterly simple.
Throughout the night, he continued to present his version of famous songs, yet his work on Für Elise was the most exceptional of all. We have all heard it countless times, and it seems to be one of the most subjective compositions out there. While the notes remain the same, the pace at which they are played often varies, giving distinct performances different levels of intensity. Souchon was am example this phenomenon, in our opinion, delaying his fingers in the slower bars almost suspensefully, and playing the lowest notes with greater depth. Halfway through, however, he radically changed the style of the song. It was still Für Elise, but something out of a classy Parisian café. If you know Ramin Djawadi's version of Paint it Black, then you know the kind of trick he played here. Other notable compositions adapted to this unique style were Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Dracula's theme), Mozart's Piano Sonata Nr. 11 in A major and even 4 Non Blondes' What's Up.
The piano was the only instrument used throughout the performance, although Souchon did sing along to a couple of songs. The lighting changed at the end of each number, but a recurrent mix of colours saw shades of blue, white and red projected all around the stage. That was the combination at the very beginning of the show, somewhat resembling the French-inspired atmosphere often displayed in Les Misérables. At the end of the performance the audience did not stop clapping until they got a much desired encore.
We would like to thank the Kinneksbond and Romain Souchon for this nice evening, and wish our young pianist all the best.
Image credit: Bohumil Kostohryz | Kinneksbond, Centre Culturel Mamer