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Dacic also offered music by Rachmaninoff's contemporary Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951). Medtner was also an unabashed romantic. (At the Moscow Conservatory Medtner shares gold plaques of honor with Rachmaninoff and Scriabin.) Unlike Rachmaninoff, Medtner did not find great success outside of Russia although he made a series of remarkable piano recordings in London in the late 1940s. The Sonata-Reminiscenza in A Minor Op 38 No 1 is one of the last scores Medtner composed before leaving Russia in 1921. Here Russian yearning is tempered by the grand romantic manner of Brahms and Schumann. Dacic's impassioned performance of this wonderful score was magnificent! He imbued the tender opening and closing pages with the most exquisite pianistic waves of light and shadow. The sheer beauty of his tone was extraordinary! In the stormy central section, the power of Dacic's cascading octaves held the audience spellbound. (The bright, superior acoustics of the Steinway Hall enhanced his exceptional performance.)

The Elegie Harmonique Op 61 by Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) was a genuine novelty and a delightful surprise -- a richly romantic, tempest tossed musical vignette. Here was an important revival of a work by a composer best known for his lighter scores. This beautiful keyboard work anticipates the music of Brahms and Dvorák. All this music needs is a virtuoso with technique to burn and a grand array of tonal colors. Dacic did not disappoint. The kaleidoscopic sweep of his playing was awesome! Claude Debussy's Hommage a Rameau is a delicate impressionistic gem that pays tribute to an eighteenth century French master. Dacic brought glowing tonal hues and delicate shading to this minor masterwork. Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No 19 in D Minor (in a brilliant transcription by Vladimir Horowitz no less) was pure pianistic fireworks. Dacic brought flaming virtuosity and tremendous energy to this dazzling tour-de-force. As an encore he offered a sensitive, beautifully articulated rendering of a movement from Schumann's Symphonic-Etudes.

Misha Dacic offered a challenging, musically stimulating program of rarely played keyboard scores. This brilliant display of his pianistic powers was unforgettable! With boldly imaginative artists like Dacic, the art of the piano has a great future. A dazzling recital!

Copyright © 15 December 2003 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA




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