Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Gig-a-Blog™ (Anete Graudina and Aya Kawabata, St Anne & St Agnes)

Friday, 12 October 2007

To my great delight I am back among the Lunchtime Lutherans. There is nowhere I would rather be right now. Work was a bit of a stress-o-max today and I very nearly gave up on the attempt to get to this concert, but I'm very glad that I made it.

Anete Graudina (violin) and Aya Kawabata (piano) were doing today's recital, kicking off with the Grieg Sonata in Cm, op. 45. I think I didn't know this work at all but it's wonderful.

There was such passion at the end of the first movement that I expected something to spontaneously combust. Perhaps me. It was an incredible contrast to then go into the sweet, transparent simplicity of the second movement's beginning. (Sure, it all starts to brew up again quite soon but the effect stands.) The last movement was enthralling - very exciting, pushing on hard to the end.

During the Grieg I noticed that Graudina, low down, has such beauty and body of tone that you could almost think it's a viola. (And yes, that is meant to be a compliment.)

Dvorak's Romance in Fm op. 11 is one of those pieces I claim I don't know... Then I hear the tune. Doh! Graudina played this beautifully.

Mazurek in Em op. 49, also by Dvorak, starts as a noisy, flashy crowd-pleaser but, fortunately, develops some lyrical moments to offset this. It got a lively and compelling performance from Graudina and the wonderful pianist Aya Kawabata, and if I liked it less than the rest of this concert then that's just me, not something wrong with the programme.

For an encore they did the very lovely tune from Gluck’s Orfeo. You know, that one. Yes, that one.

This was a great concert and I was very pleased that I'd done some minor redistribution work on the teetering mess that is my Work-Life Balance (ha) by managing to get along to it.

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