01. 02. 2004

Gramophon (Nalen Anthoni)

A programme that perhaps stretches too wide but can't disguise the promising playing

In its style of writing, Haydn`s sonata (called Divertimento in some editions) is plainly harpsichord music

There aren`t any dynamic indications, and phrase markings are confined to the slow movement. Twenty-eight-year-old Belgrade-born Anika Vavic, described as the "Rising Satar" from Austria, is unashamedly pianistic and un-pedantic in her approach. She draws on a wide range of expressive nuances for the slow movement, and is neither dogged nor matter-of-fact in the outer movements. Whatever the tempo, the music opens out spaciously. The sound doesn`t because a rather hard-toned piano is closely recorded. For most of this recital, Vavic is able to think in paragraphs, and so has a good command of the long line. But she doesn`t appear to be temperamentally suited to all the works in her chosen programme. She is at her weakest in Ravel`s suite where despite numerous sensitive touches she self-consciously stiffens the rhythm to a greater or lesser degree in all the movements. Scriabin`s Quatre Morceaux has sensitive touches, too, but the fourth piece, "Dance languide" appeals to her best; and so does the Valse in A. Its middle section in particular, marked piacevole, carezzando, is most sympathetically interpreted.

Vavic is also sympathetic to the "barbaric audacity" (Sviatoslav Richter) of Prokofiev`s sonata, and she is equal to the technical and amotional demands of the first tree movements. But the last is a touch gauche, perhaps too heavily pedalled. No denying, though, that she is an important newcomer.

[ original article ]

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