Brahms / Saint-Saëns, Piano Concertos, Y. Bronfman, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Z. Mehta
The first movement (Allegro) of Haydn's bright Sonata in C, Hob. XVI:50, contains quite short figures and thoughts reminiscent of the Italian baroque sonatas of Scarlatti. Bronfman approached the second movement (Adagio) in a simple way by following the articulations given by the composer and adding lyrical direction. Not overplayed, the brief third movement (Allegro molto) was as tight and refreshing as first movement.
Brahms's five-movement Sonata No. 3 in F minor begins quite victoriously for Brahms, with hands intensely at the extreme ends of the keyboard. The kaleidoscope of singing lines of the second movement (Andante expressivo) of this young work, composed when Brahms was only twenty, was beautifully voiced and always in motion, and most of the time floating softly in the upper registers of the instrument. The third-movement Scherzo was earthy, gruff, and even angry. Bronfman was able to express the manic multitude of affections from Brahms's adolescent soul, all while performing with a stunning technical accuracy.
Joe Banno, Bronfman puts on a virtuosic performance at Strathmore (Washington Post, March 5)
The next recital presented by WPAS will feature violinist Vadim Repin and pianist Itamar Golan, in the Music Center at Strathmore (March 16, 8 pm).