Concert review: Pianist performs broad range of works

Published: Thursday, June 17 2004 12:00 a.m. MDT

LOGAN SKELTON, PIANO, Assembly Hall on Temple Square, Tuesday.

It's been tradition for years now to have several of the judges at the Gina Bachauer competition presented in recital the week prior to the start of the competition.
On Tuesday, it was pianist Logan Skelton's turn to perform. For his recital in the Assembly Hall, he played a program of 20th century music that was eclectic in the sense that it offered the audience a broad range of works written within the past century and which showed the infinite variety of contemporary music.
In addition to works by Bela Bartok, Federico Mompou, William Bolcom and Sergei Prokofiev, the recital also featured the premiere of Henry Martin's "At Midnight's Hour."
Martin's work was a Barlow Endowment commission of a few years back. The title is from a poem by Henry David Thoreau and intended to evoke a specific atmosphere. "At Midnight's Hour" is a lushly romantic and tonal work. In its harmonic and thematic language it's reminiscent of early Scriabin, while its kinetic energy and restlessness calls to mind Prokofiev's piano music. The two elements are skillfully combined and the work is quite expressive in content. Skelton played the piece fabulously, wending his way deftly through the score's complex textures and rhythms.
Skelton opened with Bartok's "Improvisations." He captured the capricious nature of these brief folk song settings with his luminous reading.
Three movements from Mompou's subtly impressionistic "Paisajes" followed, after which Skelton played three movements from Bolcom's ragtime "The Garden of Eden."
He ended his recital with Prokofiev's emotionally intense and charged Seventh Sonata. Skelton imbued his playing with a dynamic boldness that captured the work's dramatic fervor and relentless energy.

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