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Rising Stars

Ivana Gavric at Wigmore Hall: Lunchtime Showcase Recitals Series

Robert Matthew-Walker



Ivana Gavric photo

The young British pianist Ivana Gavric presented a truly outstanding recital at Wigmore Hall as part of the Lisa Peacock Concert Management Lunchtime Showcase Recital Series on November 28. She opened with a superfine account of Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, the music’s lightness, poetry and elegance being admirably conveyed.

Ms Gavric’s recent distinguished recording featuring Janácek’s Sonata ‘1.x.1905’ doubtless attracted some in the audience, who were not disappointed: indeed, we were enchanted by a performance whose tonal qualities and structural subtleties were of high quality.

Two new pieces by the young composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad – a pair of Lyric Pieces (the first, In the Dew, homage to Janácek; the second, Contemplation, homage to Grieg) – followed. These were very effective short studies, a little underworked with regard to their material, but pleasantly and admirably played, leading naturally to music by the great Norwegian composer which concluded the recital.

The problem, of course, is that with Grieg’s music we were immediately transported into a contrasting world of great music, namely, Grieg’s Butterfly and – very rarely heard indeed – The Goblin’s Bridal Procession from his Slåtter (Folk Tunes) Opus 72 prefaced the Sonata Opus 7, in the revised 1887 version (thankfully, this was identified on the programme – not many pianists realise there are two published versions of this work, and a third – unpublished – version if one includes Grieg’s recordings of May, 1903).

Ms Gavric caught the nature of these varied pieces to perfection; she has made a new recording of selections from Grieg’s piano music, and her recital was in part promoted to launch the CD on the Champs Hill label of which we hope to be able to receive a review copy in due course.

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