The second piece on the program, Franz Liszt’s formidably challenging Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major with Andrew von Oeyen at the piano, was full of musical fireworks, shifts in meters and dynamics, and complex harmonies.
To play Liszt’s compositions, a pianist must possess an exceptionally strong technique, of which von Oeyen showed himself to have more than a sufficient amount. Although he entranced the audience with the power of his individual performance, he also showed that he possessed something even more important: a thorough knowledge of the composer’s obvious desire to make the bravura playing of the soloist an integral part of the concerto. Both the soloist and the orchestra understood this, offering a performance that held the audience’s attention as thoroughly as any dramatic music could. All present could clearly recognize von Oeyen’s technical skills, but also recognized in him that greater artistry which goes far beyond individual display.