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<<  -- 2 --  Malcolm Miller    A FORCE TO RECKON WITH


In Scriabin's Sonata No 3 in F sharp minor Op 23, however, rubato was all part of the yearning excitement, and here Stanev excelled in an idiom to which he has grown habituated over the last few years, having performed and recorded Scriabin's Preludes Op 11 and 2nd and 3rd sonatas. (The CD on the Sony label, is due out in the Autumn.) The first movement achieved its 'drammatico' marking with some supple and impassioned cascading counterpoints, dovetailed motifs building to urgent climaxes, offset by some playful gestures to balance the ebb and flow. The Allegretto second movement displayed a limpidity and bell-like resonance in the melody, while the third and fourth movements were thrilling, with shimmering intensity to the textures. Stanev's emphasis of harmonic nuances and shifts of shading highlighted the complexity of structure and one could appreciate the tightrope walk between richly expanded tonality and extreme chromaticism bordering on atonality at times. Scriabin's Deux Poèmes Op 32 seemed more redolent of Chopin in its lyrical radiance and pulsating chordal textures. Again Stanev's ability to build towards the music's huge climax was astonishing.

The recital was crowned with two Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies, Nos 11 and 12, in which the slow czardas-like introductory sections were etched out with care and conviction. If at times there might have been a touch more wit and flamboyance, one really sensed the intensity of the style and Stavnev's pearl-like passagework added to the lustre of the works, especially in the final presto sections, where the filigree flowed with glitter and delicate sparkle, the forthright themes emphasised over the texture as the Rhapsody increased in speed and exhilaration. A single encore, Chopin's C minor Nocturne, allowed a breath of relaxation, as respite from this frantic fingerwork. It typified Stanev's seriousness of purpose, and the colourful aural imagination that infused his interpretations of 19th century masterpieces. One hopes for a return recital in London soon.

Copyright © 3 July 2006 Malcolm Miller, London UK





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