What does a pianist do when he loses the use of his right arm, be it from wartime or illness? Bit by bit illness has given Stefan Warzycki, born in Tokyo but brought up in the United States, this problem. A professional musician and teacher he is now an expert with just his left hand.
Taking us through four centuries of music, Stefan began his recital with Bach's Chaconne in D minor, written originally for cello and violin but when transcribed lends itself well to one handed playing. Brahms, however, improved on it and it was his version we heard.
Saint-Saëns', the informative programme notes confirm, was a polymath and never ended up with his own musical style. He was a great experimenter and his Études pour la main gauche seal stand testament. Stefan played Prélude, Fugue and Moto perpetual.
Erwin Schulhoff Third Suite, Dritte, was written in 1926 for another war wounded pianist, Otakar Hollmann, with five movements. We heard three of the movements from Moszkowski's, Études de piano pour la main gauche seule, Allegro energico, Allegro ma un poco moderato, Tempo animato.And at the end the most modern of the works - Novák's Sonata No 5 for piano left hand.
Time and again I have watched Stefan Warzycki at the piano. He really is the master - a real delight to watch.
Performance: Tuesday 16th August 2016 at 12:30