Alda Dizdari & Tom Blach at Purcell Room – Movements and Expressions

Sonata in G minor for Violin and Piano
Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, Op.47
Ballade, Op.115/2; Berceuse, Op.79/6; The Bells, Op.115/4
Sonata No.2 for Violin and Piano
Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op.7
Sonata in G for Violin and Piano

Alda Dizdari (violin) & Tom Blach (piano)

Reviewed by: Edward Clark

Reviewed: 3 April, 2012
Venue: Southbank Centre, London – Purcell Room

Alda Dizdari. Photograph: www.aldadizdari.comThis carefully devised programme of music by progressive 20th-century composers carried the title “Movements and Expressions”. Three important sonatas, by Debussy, Bartók and Ravel were framed by more rhapsodic music by Schoenberg, Sibelius and Webern. It is to Alda Dizdari’s great credit that her ambitions in planning were matched by her superb execution throughout, ably supported by Tom Blach.

This was a mouth-watering feast of music, displaying the mastery of the early-20th-century’s greatest composers (only Stravinsky was absent). Dizdari showed an uncommon flair for getting under the skin of these masterworks; Schoenberg’s great Phantasy, terse and stern in places but also a work of forward momentum, was followed by pieces by a keen admirer of it. Sibelius’s three vignettes hinted at horizons he was not, alas, to reach. Webern’s abbreviated miniatures were thrown off by Dizdari in a dazzling manner and with a great sense of feeling for the peace that lies at their heart.

The three sonatas were emphatically delivered in a no-nonsense way; Debussy’s subtle inflections were contrasted against the crunching chords heard throughout the Bartók. Ravel’s wonderful, late Sonata was dispatched with bravado and much virtuosity. An encore, a transcription of Debussy’s song, Beaux Soir, produced the only true lyrical moment of the evening. Otherwise we suffered for the sake of great art and it was very rewarding.

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