BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Recital at Wigmore Hall – Andrei Ioniţă & Itamar Golan

Cello Suite in G, BWV1007
Sonata in D-minor for Cello and Piano, Op.40

Andrei Ioniţă (cello) & Itamar Golan (piano)

Reviewed by: Barnaby Page

Reviewed: 27 November, 2017
Venue: Wigmore Hall, London

Andrei IoniţăPhotograph: BBC New Generation Artist took the spotlight at Wigmore Hall lunchtime for a performance of remarkable maturity and individuality, one so varied in mood that it seemed to span a wide repertoire in the space of only two works.

The Bach Suite was striking from the beginning with Andrei Ioniţă’s avoidance of lushness and his preference, frequently, for an almost thin tone. But despite that it was not an attenuated approach; Ioniţă delivered the music with great energy and shaped it with waves of dynamic change, occasionally nuanced by hints of rallentando.

In the Shostakovich one wouldn’t expect restraint: much of this is music of not-very-hidden anguish. But within that context Ioniţă still managed to craft each passage individually, joined now by Itamar Golan with a perfectly-judged piano part: in the background when necessary, leaping forward with fiery flourishes at other times.

The Finale, a little lighter in mood than the rest of the Sonata, was not only an exciting ending but also made a perfect transition into the encore: Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances, played by Ioniţă with a more brilliant tone than we had heard before, and building up to a furious conclusion.

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