Review: Alexandra Vaduva, Assembly House, Norwich

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2015 Ns at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY.

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2015 Ns at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Tuesday's recital in the Royal Academy series was given by Alexandra Vaduva, a gifted young pianist from Romania who is studying in London. She opened with Book One of Leos Janacek's On An Overgrown Path.

Lasting half an hour, this attractive work bears an intriguing, teasingly obscure title, like each of its quite brief sections. In performance, there was freshness and charm, with hints of the open countryside. They came within the frame-work of a well-handled sequence of the marked changes in mood that are characteristic of the composer. What remained uncertain was how far the music ought to be appreciated in each instance as the expression of something more particular.

Continuing with pieces from the early twentieth century, Vaduva next played Berg's Sonata. Then, after the interval, she changed course with Schubert's A Minor Sonata from 1817. A couple of over-emphatic accents at the start raised questions about what sort of interpretation she had in mind. More restraint paid off later, even at the higher points.

An irritating departure from the advertised programme denied us Stravinsky's Petruska Suite. Fortunately, Bela Bartok's Suite with its rhythmic patterns, provided a satisfying substitute that showed once again the performer's well-honed skills.

Christopher Smith

The concert was part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

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