Märkische Oderzeitung: A Dialogue with 88 Keys – Soheil Nasseri is brilliant in Kappe

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The Friends of the Schorfheider Brunch Concerts had been looking forward to this event for some time: Soheil Nasseri, the American pianist with Iranian roots, playing at the Kappe town church.

Mr. Nasseri, who the magazine New Yorker has noted as “among the most prolific recitalists”, postponed his usual fall concerts in the USA and came to play the 19th brunch concert in the little village near Zehdenick. And here he elated the music lovers with works of Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Already at the outset, Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 in F-sharp, Op. 11 was more a passionate improvisation than a sonata. Mr. Nasseri seemed to be having a dialogue directly with the Steinway Grand. This impression intensified during the Brahms Waltzes. As the 15th and best known- in A-flat, Op. 39 – sounded, the attendees forgot to hum along, transfixed as they were from the sensitive playing of the virtuoso.

After the Brahms the pianist allowed himself a short pause and a sip of water. “I am very tired- this is really early in the morning for me,” he commented before playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

While Beethoven argued with contemporaries about the interpretation of his works, Franz Liszt happily performed the work for his audiences in a way both “harrowing and himself harrowed”. His students were not permitted to perform the piece in class. Instead the master would sit down and play the first two movements himself. For the last movement he always felt “too weak”.

Soheil Nasseri elicited again and again countless nuances and ranges of sound color from the romantic work. At the end of the concert the attendees expressed their thanks with thunderous applause. And like a reward, during the post-concert brunch in the church garden, warm rays of sun broke though the previously gray sky.