Pianist Inon Barnatan's thoughts are dwelling in darkness these days. Not because he turned 31 last month (with a hundred good friends at his Manhattan loft), but because Darkness Visible is the theme for his upcoming Wigmore Hall recital in London on May 16.
In Barnatan's words: "All three pieces in the Wigmore Hall program exhibit elements of darkness, but in very different ways. Thomas Adès's 'Darkness Visible' explores John Dowland's haunting song from 1610, 'In Darkness Let Me Dwell.' Schubert's great A major Sonata provides a brief glimpse of a terrified and desperate soul in an otherwise sunny and lyrical piece, while Ravel's 'La Valse' whisks its dancers into a 'dance macabre,' at once joyful, frenetic and ominous."
New Yorkers got a preview of some of the pieces at the nightclub (Le) Poisson Rouge, as did the New Yorker's Alex Ross, who referred to Barnatan's "brilliant recital" and called him "a player of uncommon sensitivity." The Israeli-born pianist was pictured prominently in Ross's article about the New York nightclub.
The 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient will precede his return to London's exquisite recital venue, and his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra, with a series of solo and chamber music concerts in the Netherlands anchored by Brahms's F-A-E Sonata ("Frei aber einsam" - "free, but lonely"). With violinist Liza Ferschtman and mezzo-soprano Cora Burggraaf, Barnatan tours classic Dutch halls in the coming weeks in Rotterdam, Groningen, Utrecht and Amsterdam, including the Concertgebouw.