29. 08. 2005

El Mercurio (By Gilberto Ponce)

Honesty and Talent

In the ever more saturated world of pianists, there are those who stick as best they can to what the composers suggest in their writing, there are those who only seek to show off their technique (which is not always the same as musicality), there are others who look for interpretations that are sometimes too personal and end up distorting the works, etcetera.

In the case of Anika Vavic, the beautiful Serbian pianist who performed in the cycle Great Pianists of the Teatro Municipal, we encountered somebody who seeks to get as close as possible to the style of the composers she is interpreting, eliminating any pomposity that is more effect-seeking than musical.

Her approach is measured, in keeping with the language and the spirit of the works she plays, placing all her technique at their service.

She began her program with a Liszt transcription of Schubert's The Maiden's Lament , in which the original work is transformed into a new one with great technical demands, all of them mastered with great form by the guest artist.

A different world is opened in the short German Dances, Country and Scottish Dances and the Valses Nobles et Sentimentales , which conjure up the folk spirit that inspired their composer in many of his works, which were often written for celebrations with his friends. If we take into account the year in which they were written, about 1823, we may conclude that the composer was preoccupied as much by the serious as by the popular.

Anika Vavic's interpretation emphasized the playful, popular and intimate character of these short works, marking the differences between them with subtlety.

The Valses Nobles et Sentimentales by Maurice Ravel in their version for piano solo are heard very rarely in Chile , where the orchestral version of the piece dominates. In this case, the soloist approached Ravel's very concrete impressionism directly, insisting on the more melancholy tone and a sober joy that is present in some of them, bringing out the difference of focus in the musical language between them and the previous works, without trying to turn the pianistic language of the work into something orchestral all of which was certainly a musical achievement.

Towards the end of his short life, quite sick and beset by financial problems, Franz Schubert composed his monumental sonata in B-flat major, D. 960. In this composition, the only chance to glimpse the pessimistic thoughts present at this time of its creator's life comes in the second movement, since a great deceptive optimism seems to pervade most of the work.

The interesting thing about Anika Vavic's version was that she stressed the melancholy sentiments more than the light ones, without making the sonata dark arriving at the perfect mean. The singing of the principal and secondary lines, the supposed questions were delivered with the entire technical potential of the soloist.

On the whole, a pianist with great musical honesty, far from false spectactular displays, who seeks out the spirit of the composers she interprets.

Translation: Alexa Nieschlag

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