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“Lara Melda – Ravished, seduced and enriched by her poetry, intelligence and golden sounds”

"From the very first note of Chopin’s first nocturne Lara Melda demonstrated her poise and aristocratic bearing in one of Chopin’s simplest Bel canto outpourings.

Her fingers seemed to belong to the centre of the keys as they extracted a velvet sound of subtlety and ravishing beauty.Not only a regal bearing like Gina Bachauer but the same golden sound of a small hand that clung to each key like a limpet.

Gilels had the same way of squeezing golden sounds out of the keys.Even in the most passionate outpouring his sound would only get richer but never hard and ungrateful.

Ravishing sounds in Brahms A minor intermezzo op 116 that seemed to disappear into a celestial oblivion as Lara threw herself into the keys with a rhythmically savage Capriccio in D minor.Passion and beauty combined as she ravished the piano extracting sounds of pure golden richness.

This was just a prelude to Chopin’s Sonata in B minor.The first movement was played with aristocratic control but with moments of tenderness and beauty as she allowed the second subject all the time of a great bel canto singer.Over a gentle continuous accompaniment she could weave a golden thread of such elastic freedom knowing that the anchor was always there.There was dynamic drive and control in the development and the triumphant return of the second subject was played with passion tinged with pathos as it led to the majestic final chords.

The jeux perlé of the scherzo was played like the last movement of the B flat minor sonata.It is often likened to the wind over the graves but here it was a wind of joyous beauty.

The melodic trio was played with great poise as she joined the busy counterpoints together finding a melodic path that gave great shape and strength to this melodic respite before the return of the busy joyous weaving of the opening.

There was grandeur in her announcement of the tender beauty of the Largo.A melodic line of subtle colour and shape that had been hinted at in her opening Nocturne.There was ravishing beauty as the gently floating sounds in the right hand were a continual presence of golden beauty above the utter simplicity of the suggestive tenor melody.

Some truly ravishing playing where her overall sheen of sound created a cocoon in which she was free to shape Chopin’s genial creations with kaleidoscopic colours of subtle inflections.

The Finale Rondo was breathtaking in its relentless forward movement but also for the transcendental control that allowed her to build the excitement to fever pitch until it spilt over into the scintillating coda.

A masterly sense of balance allowed her to add moments of sudden quietness even in the most energetic of moments that allowed her the space to build the sound without any forcing.

Infact the whole Sonata reminded me of the sheen of sound that one can appreciate in the magnificent historic recordings of Guiomar Novaes.One of the greatest pianist considered a God in her native Brazil.Her greatest admirer and pupil was our dear friend Nelson Freire who had inherited the sound that we hear today from Lara.

A very delicate ‘story’ by Turkish composer Adnan Saygun created an intimate atmosphere of great desolation very similar to the ringing bell landscape of Ravel’s Le Gibet

In just forty minutes Lara had ravished, seduced and enriched us with her poetry, intelligence and golden sounds."


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