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Harmonious and Expressive

Sontraud Speidel Fascinates in the Baden Museum with Splendid Piano Playing

If one listens to Sontraud Speidel in concert, playing the piano seems to be the easiest matter of course. There is no moving of the piano chair, no phase of concentration. She sits down and plays, and plays with an enthusing clarity and a force of expression, with a full sound. For the Master's Recital in the Werner Trenkner Society, she brought a program that was comprised exclusively of works of women composers. In the 19th century, there were more of them than assumed. For example Maria Szymanowska, a celebrated pianist in the tsar's court in Russia, who composed a Polonaise in F major. With her approach to Polish folksongs, she became a precursor of Chopin. Sontraud Speidel placed this beautiful piece of music at the beginning of her recital.

The pianist, who forms a well-known piano duo with Evelinde Trenker besides her work as soloist, is also a teacher in great demand throughout the whole world, including USA and Japan, in Montreal and Tel Aviv. She explained the pieces she played in an informative and very pointed manner, playing extracts from similar piano pieces, which also demonstrated her large repertoire.

This night was focussed on pieces by Clara Schumann and Fanny Hensel. The "Quatre Pièces fugitives" by Clara Schumann, and the Sonata in g minor by Fanny Hensel, were particularly fascinating. With this work, Fanny Hensel proved that she could compose works equally outstanding as her celebrated brother Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Her "Lied ohne Worte No. 4", which is based on an Italian dance, is an enrapturing piece, too, especially if played with as much impetus and virtuosity as Sontraud Speidel. She played Schumann's "Träumerei" as an encore in return for the virtually endless applause.

(KG), Solinger Tagblatt, April 4, 2006

Translation: Dr. Jürgen Rodeland, John Nisbet