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<<  -- 2 --  Malcolm Miller    PURPOSE AND INSIGHT


He projected the music with clarity and polish, with details gaining expression through a sweet resilient tone. The pulsating syncopations of the first movement of the Beethoven conveyed bite, and there was piquancy to the march-like second theme exchanged across the duo. While the ensemble interplay was mostly sharply co-ordinated, as in the witty Scherzo, in general the piano, though cleanly played, was far too reticent, often lacking bite and projection, as also in the finale of the Ravel sonata or the flamenco rhythms of the Saint-Saëns.

No matter, for there was plenty to enthral in Koeckert's interpretations. His glistening tone in the Ravel Sonata combined with a powerfully evocative concept of the work. The slow movement -- though needing more swing and jazz character from the piano -- was beguiling and there was even more feeling of jazz in the finale, a breathtaking improvisatory 'moto perpetuum' that dazzled. The Saint-Saëns was again finely played though the duo could have had just a bit more fun in the Spanish textures and syncopations. Koeckert projected the suave theme with panache, and rhythmic discipline, and a dashing cadenza before the final thematic statement. Fortunately the capacity audience could further savour his lyricism in Tchaikovsky's Melody as encore. Koeckert is an artist with something to express; with room to develop, there is no doubt as to his outstanding artistic promise. One awaits future UK appearances eagerly.

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Copyright © 5 December 2002 Malcolm Miller, London, UK


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