Vanessa Perez, a young Venezuelan making waves in an ever-crowded sea of talented pianists, visited Baltimore Saturday afternoon to promote her new, all-Chopin Telarc recording.
She played the composer's 24 Preludes on a recital at An die Musik.
That intimate concert room has become a popular stopping-off spot for performing artists. On Monday night, violist Garth Knox and friends play from their new ECM recording there, before giving a CD-launch Tuesday at the hip Manhattan venue Le Poisson Rouge, an event touted in the Times and New Yorker.
Back to the Perez recital. It proved to be a mixed bag.
There was terrific technical virtuosity, as in the dash through the D major and E-flat Preludes. But there was some ...
There was eloquent phrasing, as in the F-sharp minor and "Raindrop" Preludes, but articulation could also turn cold and methodical, as in the E minor.
I admired the concentration and grit that Perez demonstrated as she moved those these two dozen amazing pieces, bringing out with a particularly effective edge the more startling ideas, such as the persistent dissonance in the A minor Prelude. I appreciated the pianist's determination to avoid anything sentimental or sticky.
Still, it would have been nice to hear a little more warmth of tone in places, a little more subtlety of articulation along the way -- qualities Perez does offer on the new CD, and which she revealed engagingly in the short pieces by Albeniz and Villa Lobos that bookended Saturday's recital.
PHOTO BY MICHELE LAURITA
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