Press

30. 12. 2003

Music Manual (Manfred Jonak)

Anika Vavic

Haydn/ Skrjabin/ Ravel/ Prokofjew ORF-Vienna "Rising Stars"

ORF CD No.339

The seven and one-half octaves of a Steinway D-274 are taken under the wings - i.e. pianist hands - of young Anika Vavic, who has immortalized on a CD not only Joseph Haydn's three-movement Sonata for Piano in D-Major, Hob XVI/19 but has also unpacked Scriabin, Ravel and Prokofjew. Anika Vavic, who began taking piano lessons at the age of seven in her home town of Belgrade and who thereafter won several international competitions and awards before coming to Vienna to study with Noel Flores, has also selected Scriabin's Four Pieces, Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales and Prokofjew's Sonata for Piano No. 6, Op. 82. Let us begin with the youngest of these composers: Prokofjew. This sonata, which comprises three moderately to very fast movements and a very slow third (!) waltz movement, the motifs of which vary from wild and bizarre to sweet and supple, confronts Ms. Vavic not only with tehnical demands. It culminates in quick register changes, loud arpeggios, agile intervals and swiftly oscillating dynamics. The pianist captures so fantastically the explosive power which the opening measures set free that Prokofjew's spirit seems to confont one directly. Ravel's eight compact cycles (the title of which refers to the types of Viennese waltzes composed by Shubert) are in equally good hands. The melancholic, sentimental "Assez lent" is flanked by irrupting fortes and arpeggios as well as by a slow, supple "Finger- Walking". Vavic reproduces Scriabin's expressionist Four Pieces, which are characterized by dreamy motifs (Fragilité), strolling rhythm (Prélude), musical emotion (Počme ailé) and hope (Dance languide) with temperamental thrusts. Haydn's Sonata, the punctuated harmonics of which seem to related to Bach, offers a second -movement Andante which contains springing intervals in the bass and not only soft, fragile but also loud, compact scales in the melody. Not only in the Allegro assai but also in the Moderato of the first movement is Anika Vavic convicing. How about another recording?

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