Windmill Studio Concert review by Brian Moore.
Musicality and charm were the hallmarks of the recital given recently at Swineshead Village Hall by pianist Vivian Choi.
She opened her programme with one of the late Sonatas by Beethoven (Op. 110), an adventurous choice for this is a ‘tough nut’ to crack for both artiste and audience. There were moments of unease in the taxing fugal finale, but overall this was a musically-intelligent and accomplished performance.
After the tension of the Beethoven, works by Debussy (‘Suite Bergamasque’, containing the ever-popular ‘Clair de Lune’) and the ‘Kinderszenen’ (Scenes from Childhood) by Schumann proved ideal lilting contrasts.
Images of the Iberian Peninsula were beautifully captured in her performance of the ‘Three Pieces’ by Spanish composer Albeniz, a reading of colour and assurance – but these were almost swept away in her dazzling, ‘tour de force’ performance of Liszt’s arrangement of the ‘Paraphrase’ from Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’. This was breath-taking, edge-of-seat playing, bringing a resounding ovation from the audience.
She rounded off the evening with an ‘Intermezzo’ by Brahms, re-stating those hallmarks which under-pinned the whole occasion – musicality and charm.