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Uri Caine: Beethoven 1 Improvised

RNCM Concert Hall, 22 November 2012

Uri Caine.  Photo by Bill Douthart.

Uri Caine. Photo by Bill Douthart.

We saw a master craftsman at work and a fine pianist at play.

Uri Caine’s concert closed day one of Ludwig Van, the RNCM’s Beethoven festival.  The idea is to devote one day every month or so over the coming year to the great composer, playing all his symphonies in the process.

In a talk beforehand, Caine had talked amongst other things about improvisation as practice.  Not just as a way of creating, but as a way also of exploring and understanding a piece of music, taking it apart and putting it back together, seeing how it all works.

He began with pieces by Mozart and Mahler, and then launched into an improvised version of Beethoven’s first symphony.  His playing was exhilarating.