Joel Fan brings in raves from the Danbury Concert Association

The Danbury Concert Association, a presenting organization in Connecticut, kicked off their season last weekend by featuring Reference Recordings artist Joel Fan. Joel continues to bring in grand reviews and perform works outside of the usual concert repertoire.

by Gilbert Mott

"Fan is a personable performer who speaks casually before many of his pieces, introducing the music and giving hints of what to listen for.

The Iranian composer Dia Succari's "La Nuit du Destin (The Night of Destiny)" led off in a mystical, dreamy mood...The main theme is fractured into a different guise as it starts up again. Much is left to the pianist in this improvisational work, and Fan gave structure and coherence to its mysteries.

Fan described Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 5 as an "orgy" of mysticism. His big technique proved to be up to its demands (the great pianist Sviatoslov Richter said it was one of the hardest pieces ever written), as he caught both the roiling drama and the far-off quality of the softer passages. The rhapsodic climax was stirring and convincing.

From that same year came Leon Kirchner's last piece, Sonata No. 3, "The Forbidden." Fan had been Kirchner's student at Harvard and commissioned the sonata from him. It is full of turbulence, always edging forward, rarely at rest, and the student expressed his teacher's intentions admirably."

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