In his place, BLEMF called upon pianist Mike Cheng-Yu Lee who, on Saturday, had helped celebrate the late faculty pianist Edmund Battersby. As partner with Hsuan Chang Kitano, Lee had stunned an audience, certainly me, playing “Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos,” K.448. That performance was a tour de force.
His Sunday appearance was a lecture/music combine about “Mozart and His Piano.” Its climax was Lee’s reading of Mozart’s “Sonata in F,” K.332, on fortepiano, an absolutely gorgeous performance that stressed the work’s lyricism, an element strongly suggestive of the Romantic period soon to come.
As keyboard performer, Lee really is a major talent, no doubt about it; I expect press notices to start coming before long in praise of his musicianship. As Nigel North’s substitute, he was a giving soul to be thanked for his generosity. As lecturer, however, though he knows his stuff, he should have been told that a microphone helps get the message out clearly and that back-and-forth physical movement should be limited because constant and purposeless pacing also gets in the way of successful communication. Call that advice for the future.