Dar al-Athar al- Islamiyyah in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy in Kuwait hosted a special performance by renowned pianist Jane Coop at the Americani Cultural Centre on 26 January. This is Ms. Coop’s first visit to the Gulf.
The Cultural Centre was packed with an excited audience of classical music fans who enthusiastically welcomed Jane Coop on stage. Ms Coop, a respected concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, is highly regarded for her performance style and has worked with prominent conductors and played with orchestras around the world including the Royal Philharmonic. She is a genuine classical music talent who plays the works of great maestros with an impressive artistic flair.
The program commenced with Jane Coop highlighting the integral and fascinating facets of the compositions she had selected. The opening act was three selected sonatas from Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) that had strong Spanish influences. Listening to Ms Coop, you know unequivocally that you are in the presence of someone extraordinary, from the effortless manner in which she rendered the works of famed composers.
Through the mid-way act, she paused to talk about the compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), incidentally one of her favourites, and Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849). Such explanations about the composers’ ideas and inspiration helped reunite the audience with the composers’ musings and delve deeper into the symphony. The range of human expression and energy in Beethoven’s compositions was perfectly encapsulated in her playing that translated her special insights of the maestro. It was richly enjoyable. One member from the audience said that Beethoven was the top piece of the night.
Also worth mentioning, the concentration of her playing was transfixing, and throughout the recital of Chopin, you could sense the composer’s well-balanced thoughts on the musical piece.
All who watched the performance agreed that she had a special way of articulating and communicating the essence of the musical compositions in a manner that drew the audience into an emotional world.
Ms Coop ended her concert with a purely expressive works by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) that was captured in an exceptional stature. She delivered the complexities of the pieces effortlessly, always guiding her listeners’ ears to the melodic lines, a display of a mastery over the piano.
The grand finale earned a standing ovation from the audience, who were thrilled to be in the presence of such exceptional talent. Later, she mingled with fans including other local composers. Speaking to The Times Kuwait, Jane Coop said, “I felt that the audience was listening well and enjoying my music..I felt they were engaged and there was good communication. About my message through my selection, the feelings you have as a human being are worldwide and music can transmit those feelings from me to others without language. My performance is a direct communication of the heart.”