11. 07. 2004


She Rediscovers Pioneers of Piano Music

Her educational calling card is high-carat: Anika Vavic, who played the only concert in Gelsenkirchen during this years Klavierfestival Ruhr, studied with Leonskaja and Maisenberg, among others. For her concert in Castle Horst, she put her trust in three icons of the piano.

In their day, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Sergey Prokofiev were all paving the way for new developments, for unusual compositional ideas both in form and content.

From Haydns oeuvre, the Belgrade-born soloist selected the Sonatas in D major Hob. XIV 19 and A-flat major Hob. XVI 46; from Beethoven, she chose the early Sonata no. 7, Op. 10, no. 3; and for the grave finale she decided on Prokofievs Op. 82 in A major, written in 1940, a berserk tour de force.

Here, Anika Vavic, winner of various competitions, touches borders. The Russian composer demands everything from the pianist, and she invests enormous womens power into the daunting battle of the notes, only to show touching and tender qualities in the Tempo di valse. Even in the Allegretto, Prokofiev has his rough edges. Anika Vavic recognises the entire work as political music, even if it is encoded. The martial element dominates in all four movements, symbolising the destructive power of war, before which art must apparently capitulate.

With Beethoven and Haydn, she uses a different approach but always with pluck and control, apart from a few glitches. The concept is always compelling, presented in a coherent manner and marked by virtuosity. I have rarely heard these classical Viennese sonatas by Haydn in such a modern treatment: she radically removes all the beautiful decorative elements, arriving at the core ideas of the pieces.

Anika Vavic was celebrated in the sold-out Glashalle. Her encores (Schuberts Valse and a Sonata by D. Scarlatti) re-illustrated the fact that this was an encounter with a great pianist.

Translation: Alexa Nieschlag

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