Joanna MacGregor

Joanna MacGregor Photo: Pal Hansen

Joanna MacGregor
Melbourne Recital Centre
April 1 

Opening the two-week Metropolis New Music Festival, English pianist Joanna MacGregor gave a captivating recital of music spanning four centuries.

The first half was a fabulous musical and intellectual exercise that paired five preludes and fugues from J.S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier with selections from Shostakovich's own Bach-inspired Twenty-four Preludes and Fugues, op 87. Initial misgivings of her Bach interpretation - tempi and some unashamed jazzy inflections - gave way to deep appreciation of the exercise, a special highlight the central pairing of the Bach No.8 in E flat minor and Shostakovich's No.15 in D flat. At times treating the piano as a percussion instrument, MacGregor's own arrangements of four tangos from Astor Piazzolla provided a fabulous conclusion.