Making his first visit to the Top End, Australian pianist Jayson Gillham gave a brilliant recital of Bach transcriptions and Chopin favourites at the Darwin Entertainment Centre.
The youthful-looking but celebrated soloist had the audience enraptured from the opening work of his program, Bach’s lilting Sheep May Safely Graze, to the appropriately rousing encore of Chopin’s ‘Revolutionary’ Étude.
This reviewer had the unexpected good fortune of sitting in the front row, with the closest possible view of the performer’s pliable racing fingers, swaying head and beads of sweat as he incarnated the music.
Charmingly, the Queensland-born virtuoso proved as warm in his helpful introductions to each work as he was breathtaking in his technique and musicality.
The program was the same as his postponed performances in Sydney and Melbourne, which have been rescheduled for 2022, beginning with six Bach short works, mostly transcriptions for piano, in the first half, followed by five Chopin études and nocturnes after the interval.
The concert began with a warm, delicate and unhurried rendition of Sheep May Safely Graze, from Bach’s Cantata BWV 208, which Gillham noted was unusual in being a...