JAW-DROPPING ANDREAS BOYDE ON PIANO
The new Tacoma Symphony pattern of a big, enthusiastic crowd, a robust orchestra and a phenomenal soloist continued at the season opening concert in the Pantages Theater last Saturday.
But the star of the evening was Boyde. With a huge tone that easily balanced the orchestra behind him, Boyde lived up to his nickname “Monsieur 100,000 Volts,” rocketing through octave triplets and chordal runs in a dizzying blur. But although Boyde has the kind of hands that can eat Tchaikovsky concertos for breakfast, he thinks hard about what he plays. Instead of gratuitous violence he offered careful shading, balancing the full, organ-like tone of the opening chords with a light, pensive second theme that made a perfect duo with a wafting flute. Theatrically Russian foot-stomps and a conducting lyrical left hand gave way to eye-popping double-hand staccato and a cadenza that left the audience spellbound.
The third was delightfully humorous in a very German way, with Boyde bringing in witty dialogue and wait-for-it pauses before a furious finale.
And – very welcome in a two-and-a-half-hour concert – no podium concert notes, just some extremely thoughtful musings on paper by Andreas Boyde.