16. 03. 2002

Washington Post (Cecelia Porter)

Austria's Anika Vavic, A Young Pianist of Note

From the opening of her American debut Thursday at the Austrian Embassy, the young pianist Anika Vavic made evident her keen perception of the more elusive subtleties of music.

Besides Haydn's Sonata in D, Hob. XVI/19, Vavic's recital included Prokofiev's Sonata No. 6, Op. 82; Alexander Scriabin's Waltz, Op. 38, and his Four Morceaux, Op. 51; and a waltz by the Taiwanese composer Shih, a Vienna resident since 1974.

Vavic has already gathered many prizes, most recently the Austrian National Award for Women in the Arts.

Vavic overlaid the sonata's majestic Andante with ruminative delicacy and illuminated every movement with articulation as discreet as fine oratory. Scriabin's Waltz submerges Chopinesque lyricism in washes of impressionist harmonies, forging a mystical ambiguity Vavic underlined with meticulous tempo inflections. In Shih's piece she responded sensitively to the music's waves of shifting textures, now coalescing, now receding like ever-modulating atmospheric densities. None of Prokofiev's unyielding percussive onslaughts was lost on the pianist.

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