Global Fascinations and Sophistications
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.
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.
Copyright © 20 September 2000
Bill Newman, Edgware, UK
CD INFORMATION - STYLTON RS 0543 2 00
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