<< -- 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.
Copyright © 5 December 2002
Malcolm Miller, London, UK