In January 1996 I was selected to play at London’s Purcell Room in the Park Lane Group concert series for young artists. I combined short pieces by György Kurtág, with whom I had studied, with a newly-commissioned work by the Hungarian László Tihanyi, in whose Ensemble Intermodulation I had performed. The largest-scale work was Elliot Carter’s Piano Sonata.
Recordings to follow!
‘Rachel Beckles Willson, a specialist in Hungarian music from her studies in Budapest, is possessed of enviable musicality to match splendid technique. Beckles Willson had fun with pieces by Gyorgy Kurtag and premiered a multi-faceted piece, The passing of Neptune by Laszlo Tihany, in which the quasi-astrological associations of the planet seemed to bring corresponding irrationality into the music.
On more conventional ground with Eliott Carter’s relatively early Piano Sonata she brought a perceptive intellectual grasp of its weighty substance to add to a dazzling keyboard brilliance in its faster sections.’
Noel Goodwin, The Times, 10 January 1996.
‘Rachel Beckles Willson has studied in Hungary with Gyorgy Kurtag whose early Splinters she followed with a selection from his witty, diary-like Games. She played all these, as well as Elliott Carter’s early Sonata, from memory, confidentaly as well as sensitively.’
Adrian Jack, Financial Times, 13 January 1996.
‘Rachel Beckles Willson, who began with keen little pieces by Gyorgy Kurtag, ended with a triumphant account of Elliott Carter’s big early Piano Sonata 91946) – the triumph not only in securing the heroic rhetoric, but in revealing the aeolian harp world of subtle resonance that lies behind it.’
Paul Driver, Sunday Times, 14 January 1996.