Anthony Marwood (violin)/ Aleksandar Madzar (piano)
Perth Concert Hall
REVIEW: NEVILLE COHN
On Guy Fawkes Night, I happened to tune in to ABC FM midway through the first movement of Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata. I was riveted. The playing fairly crackled with musical electricity – and the set of variations that comprises the second movement was a marvel of ensemble playing and the finale a near-flawless essay in prestidigitation. It was the Marwood/Madzar duo playing ‘live’ from Sydney.
Ten days later the duo came to Perth and at their performance at the Concert Hall on Thursday, the unanimity of thought and action that lies at the heart of the duo’s artistry was again much in evidence. But if the virtuosity apparent on that broadcast on November 5 was at a slightly lower level on Thursday – due perhaps to tiredness from a heavy performing and teaching schedule – it was nonetheless a most satisfying offering.
The peak of the evening lay securely in the keeping of Schubert. His Fantasie in C seldom appears on recital programs. Its excruciatingly taxing demands and hazard-filled pages ensure that only the bravest and most accomplished musicians perform it in public. And the duo was gloriously up to its challenges, not least its forbiddingly difficult tremolando episodes of which Madzar is a master.
Gordon Kerry’s Martian Snow was an agreeable and engaging introduction to the evening, music dominated by finely spun treble trills and dainty melodic strands.
There was magic, too, in an account of Debussy’s Sonata in G minor, playing that drew the listener ineluctably into the sound and mood world of a unique genius.
This program was a memorable finale to Musica Viva’s 2012 offerings in Perth.