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Purpose and insight

MALCOLM MILLER enjoys two outstanding débuts
by German and Italian artists


It is always refreshing to experience an outstanding début concert, especially when the artists display a balance of tonal beauty with insightful involving musicianship. Such were the qualities in evidence in the second and third concerts in the current, eighth series of 'Music at the Wallace Collection'. Set in the salubrious surrounds of the large gallery of Hertford House, Manchester Square, central London, UK, these concerts offer a most civilised way to spend a Sunday morning, primed with free coffee and croissants in the impressive new atrium restaurant and time to view the magnificent Wallace art collection.

On 24 November 2002 it was the turn of the young German violinist Nicolas Koeckert, partnered by the Ukranian pianist Milana Chernyavska. Their programme spanned a spectrum of virtuosity and mood, from the dramatic excitement of the Beethoven's C minor Sonata Op 30 No 2, to the silken lyricism and jazzy ebullience of Ravel's Sonata with its slinky blues slow movement, and the electrifying zest of the popular Introduction e Rondo Cappricioso by Saint-Saëns.

Nicolas Koeckert has a controlled fast vibrato, a sweet sounding Stradivarius and dashing bowing gestures that highlight his intense engagement with the spirit of the music. He also has the technical facility of a major international artist, having won the 2001 Novosibirsk International Violin Competition and still in his early twenties, was placed in the 2002 Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition.

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Copyright © 5 December 2002 Malcolm Miller, London, UK


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