08 April, 2009

Concert Review: Lynn Harrell

Concert Review: Lynn Harrell

April 4th, 2009
Washington Irving High School

I am not a great fan of Lynn Harrell, but I went because of the excellent program.

Stravinsky's Suite Italienne opened the program. Harrell's playing, as expected, was a little tame for my taste, especially in this piece which would benefit from more incisive playing. What was surprising was the very good support from his young accompanist, Victor Santiago-Asuncion, who got beautiful colors out of his piano, even when playing softly.

Webern's Three Little Pieces were just that, over almost immediately after they began. How is one supposed to savor a 12-bar piece of music, said to be complete in itself? The Debussy sonata that followed received a good reading. Here, both Harrell's and the pianist's range of colors helped to characterize the piece deftly.

After the intermission, Bach's Solo Suite No. 1 was fluently played in an old-fashioned way, no concession to period practice, but creditably with clear lines and no great distortion. Dvorak's Rondo Op. 94 and Chopin's Introduction et polonaise Brillante Op. 3 rounded out the program nicely.

Harrell's tone is a very warm one. While the bottom is sonorous, I personally find his high registers rather lacking in dynamics, even resolution (he plays DuPre's cello I think but sounds completely different). He plays and phrases in a rather smooth manner, even when he attacks. Personally I'd like things crisper.

No comments:

Post a Comment