Saturday night we headed over to Glenn Memorial on the Emory campus to hear one of Atlanta's best pianists.  Todd Skrabanek does not do recitals very often because he's so busy accompanying the ASO Chorus, Glenn Memorial choirs, and lucky students from Agnes Scott and Reinhardt.  Todd is never one to let five notes do when fifty may be played, and all four of the works on his concert were stunningly brilliant.

My favorite was the Bach Partita No. 4 in D, BWV 828.  Not only were all the notes there, but all the lines were clear and distinct, each dance had its own character, and the aria was achingly beautiful.  Next to this piece Todd placed the Cesar Franck Prelude, Chorale and Fugue which is not a favorite piece of mine since I find Franck's Wagnerian take on Bach a bit limited in thought and a bit grandiose in flavor.  Its placement next to the Partita, though, brought out the things that Franck did understand about Bach.  Watching Todd play the piece, especially the cross hands Chorale when the left hand plays the bass and the melody about three octaves apart, was an experience in itself.  Okay, I even liked the Franck!

Next on the program was a piece by one of Todd's former professors at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  Todd said he'd had the score for about twenty-five years before getting around to learning it, and I'm so glad I was there to hear the results.  Andrew Rudin's Museum Pieces is a twelve-tone work that can be played musically and beautifully.  In some places it has a Bartok flavor that I liked very much.  I will be looking for a recording of this piece, and if there's not a commercial one available, I will be nagging Todd for a concert recording.  It was very special. 

Todd ended with the Chopin Scherzo No. 4 in E, op. 54, which was another brilliant piece, and when we wouldn't stop clapping he encored with one of the Chopin etudes, C# Major, I think he said.  It was a virtuoso ending to a fabulous evening.