This recital was given by Lana Trotovšek (violin) and Maria Canyigueral (piano) on Friday 4th March 2022 at Inverurie Town Hall.
The first half of the concert consisted entirely of works by the Ukrainian born composer Sergei Prokofiev. The programme opened with his Sonata in D major for solo violin, opus 115. Written in 1947, it was commissioned as a teaching work for talented violin students and as such contains a fair number of technical challenges. The first movement, Moderato, set a bight and cheerful tone, whilst the second movement, Theme and Variations, was more introspective. It was in the third movement, Con Brio – Allegro Precipitato, where the fireworks began. Lana’s flawless delivery of this piece made it sound straightforward and belied the many technical difficulties it presented.
Maria joined Lana for the next item, and indeed the remainder of the programme. Prokofiev’s Five Pieces from Cinderella, opus 87 were arranged by Mikhail Fichtenholz for David Oistrakh. A piece rarely performed in this version, I found it to be fascinating and highly affecting. The original ballet score for Cinderella was composed during 1940 – 44 and was premiered by the Kirov Ballet in 1945. The opening movement, The Grand Waltz was introduced by the piano and whilst the triple time would normally generate a sense of freedom and relaxation, the minor key imbued the entire movement with a sinister sense that the listener could easily be drawn into a place of danger. This feeling continued through the Gavotte and Passepied, two dances generally associated with enjoyment and happy times. The fourth movement, Winter Fairy, was far more whimsical and introspective in nature, leading into the Mazurka where we finally landed in a major key and the sense of danger was replaced by a feeling of reckless abandon. I must commend both musicians for their presentation of this beautiful arrangement which for me evoked such complex emotions.
The final piece in the first half of the concert was Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite for violin and piano (arr. Baich/Fletzberger). The well-known themes in this suite were delivered with panache by both musicians, violin and piano contributing in equal measure to the overall development of the piece, creating mental pictures of scenes from the well-known and tragic storyline.
Following the intermission, we were treated to a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata no. 7 in C minor, opus 30. In the first movement, Allegro con Brio, the piano was initially in charge (as indeed it was throughout the piece), introducing the main themes which were taken up and developed in spectacular fashion by the violin. The opening theme of the Adagio Cantabile was introduced by Maria on the piano with heart-rending delicacy, and taken up by Lana on the violin, those sweet notes hanging in the air as if conjured from another dimension. The Scherzo led flawlessly into the Finale marked Allegro; Presto. Passionate and fiery in their delivery, they brought this wonderful piece to an explosive and decisive conclusion.
These musicians appear to have developed an almost telepathic communication, responding to each other in a fashion which created for the listener a performance that was greater than the sum of its parts. Originally scheduled for 2020, and then for 2021, we had waited patiently for this recital – let us hope that they can return to delight us again in the not-too-distant future.
10th March 2022