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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Opening Night: The Shadow of Angels

The opening night performances and presentations for Kim Poor's exhibition The Shadow of Angels at St Stephen Walbrook began with a speech by the exhibition's curator, the legendary art historian and critic Edward Lucie-Smith

He spoke about St Stephen Walbrook as an iconic setting for this exhibition which highlights the universal appeal of angels and their presence and significance in our lives. Their iconography has been a unifying force throughout time and appears in all religions and cultures. Especially in these troubled times, angels represent our need for reassurance in a very unstable world. They are our protectors, guides and spiritual messengers; a bridge between us and the Divine. Edward also spoke about the contemporary connections and ministry of St Stephen Walbrook, in particular its online ministry.

Edward's speech was followed by the musical programme for the evening, which featured an expertly curated collection of classical musicians and dancers:

Prelude and Fugue in B Flat Minor BWV 867
‘Pavane' 2nd Piano Suite Opus 10
George Enescu
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
FERNANDO MONTAÑO - Soloist with The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden
'The Swan' Carnival des Animaux
Camille Saint-Saens
'Kol Nidrei' Opus 47
Max Bruch
Estampes - 'Pagodes'
Claude Debussy
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
'Grave and Andante’ from Violin Sonata No 2 in A Minor BWV 1003.
J.S. Bach
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
'Elements' Carte Blanche
Choreography by Kirill Burlov

The exhibition, which also features an installation by Sacha Molyneux, is at St Stephen Walbrook until 29th October 2016 (weekdays 10.00am - 4.00pm, Wednesdays 11.00am - 3.00pm). Prints of 'The Good Samaritan Angel' are on sale with proceeds going to St Stephen Walbrook.

During The Shadow of Angels, the “amazing, daring and magnetic artist” Claudio Crismani will also perform. Crismani will play Etudes Australes, First Book Nos. 1-8 by John Cage and Suite from The Bluebeard Castle by Béla Bartók at St Stephen Walbrook on Tuesday 25 October at 7:00 pm. Tickets are £15.00 from the Box Office at St Martin-in-the-Fields or on the door.

American critic John Maxim concluded his review on Music Life about Claudio Crismani’s concert dedicated to Scriabin’s music with those words. The music by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin has always been at the centre of Crismani’s artistic interests.

Crismani was born in Trieste and he began studying music with Andrea Giorgi as a young boy. Between Andro and Claudio a solid, lifelong fraternal friendship was built in time.

He continued studying piano with Alessandro Costantinides and composition with Mario Bugamelli, graduating with full marks at the Bolzano Conservatory. He then perfected his technique studying with Marguerite Kazuro in Warsaw for five years. His international career began in Paris in 1979 with a recital at the “Salle Pleyel” and a series of radio and tv recordings for “France Musique”. Since then he has performed all over Europe, Russia, Israel, USA, Japan and Australia and in the most distinguished concert halls. He has worked with directors such as James Lawrence Levine, Cristoph von Dohnányi and Thomas Sanderling and performed with internationally renowned orchestras, among which: The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra, The European Community Chamber Orchestra, Les Solistes de Moscou, The Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra and The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1986 Claudio Crismani was invited to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Liszt’s death by performing twelve concerts in England and playing the complete “Années de Pèlerinage” and the transcriptions of Wagner’s operas. In 1987, UNESCO named him “European Artist” and invited him to perform at the “International Music Soiree” at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. That same year he was appointed “Guest Artist” of the Van Leer Foundation in Jerusalem and under this aegis he became co-founder of the Horowitz Festival. In the Nineties, he staged a three-evening performance of the complete Poems and Sonatas for piano by Scriabin, which was repeated several times in different countries. He had an exclusive record contract with RS for twelve years and won two Discographic Awards. This period was marked by an important collaboration and friendship with the great Russian pianist Lazar Berman.

His performance of Scriabin’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra together with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Sanderling and recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall in London, was a true publishing success story.

After a concert tour in 2002/2003 marking his thirtieth year of artistic activity (he was described as one of the major artists of his generation), Claudio Crismani decided to retire from the concert scene and devote himself exclusively to a long period of study. In 2014, he returned on the musical scene – among others – with “The Prometheus Project”, which is a transposition of Alexander Scriabin’s “Promethean” dream, designed to be a literary, artistic and (of course) musical experience. He rewrote it together with his friend Edward Lucie-Smith as a synesthetic blend, suspended between visual art and music, literature and history. Here, Pasternak and Scriabin intersect with contemporary traits, tracing a hitherto undescribed randomness of real-life moments spanning from Russia to Trieste and present and future human relations developing between Trieste and London.

In 2015, Claudio Crismani returned on the international scene at the exhibition on Boris Pasternak: “la Genesi del Sogno” (The Genesis of the Dream). The event highlighted artworks by Oleg Kudryashov, photographs by Moisei Nappelbaum and Crismani’s concert (performed strictly on a Fazioli piano) at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste, and repeated in 2016 in Cividale del Friuli with a tribute to Boulez.


Claudio Crismani - Wehmut.

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