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Record Box - Planning your collection - with Bill Newman


Global Fascinations and Sophistications

Lukás Vondrácek


Most recently, I heard a 14-year old boy from Opava in the Czech Republic - Lukás Vondrácek. I was overwhelmed by his commanding, assured musicianship in Bach, Haydn, Chopin, Smetana, Liszt, and Grainger. There appears to be nothing outside his capabilities for the years to come, and the Steinway audience went wild with enthusiasm.

Lukás Vondrácek - American piano recital. Copyright (c) Stylton

His first CD came at the age of eleven, and his second last year at the Opava's Franciscan Monastery. What a disappointment. I was left in a quandary wondering whether a year's progress in maturity had produced quite another impression from what I first heard on disc. But a second playing suggests that the fault lies with the flat acoustic stifling any semblance of dynamic gradation, and is absent in top and bass response.

The programme mixes Bach, Schubert, Chopin and Liszt with Czech composers Suk and Novak, of which Amoroso from Memories gives the right impression [listen - track 11, 4:45-5:45], but the radiant magic of that very special Steinway evening is simply filtered out.

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Copyright © 20 September 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK





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