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RECITAL REVIEW

Pianist Anastasia Dedik March 12 at Spring Lake Village

DEDIK RECITAL MARCH 12 IN SPRING LAKE VILLAGE SERIES

by Terry McNeill
Monday, March 12, 2018

Pianist Anastasia Dedik has been an occasional North Coast visitor, playing with her Trio in Ukiah, and in recitals in Sonoma and with the Spring Lake Village series. She returned March 12 to Spring Lake (a retirement community, with Impresario Robert Hayden) in an abbreviated recital before a packed Montgomery Center Hall of 200 attentive seniors.

Beginning with three Bach works, the pianist was in a lively mood and Petri’s popular “Sheep May Safely Graze” transcription had steady rhythm and showed the bright treble of the hall’s piano. Two monumental Preludes and Fugues from Book I of the Well Tempered Clavier came next, the C-Sharp Major and the B-Flat Minor. The Prelude of the first was played briskly, and the fugue slow with hidden charm and the novel touch of an arpeggiated last chord.

In the second Prelude Ms. Dedik opted for a somber character and played it like a chorale, with subtle crescendos and decrescendos. It was a study in dynamic control, and a recital highlight. The fugue was played songlike, with the charming theme shifting between the hands.

Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata (C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2) concluded the first half, and here the pianist gave a workmanlike performance with some attractive details, such as sporadically slightly broken chords in the too slow first movement adagio sostenuto. The following allegretto was also a little mundane in conception, lacking the lilt and charm that one can hear in the famous live Hofmann reading in the 1930s. I hear a dance unfolding in this movement.

Ms. Dedik redeemed herself in the finale by capturing the tumultuous presto agitato momentum with rumbling tremolos, interesting pauses and clarity of line. It was exciting playing that generated the evening’s loudest ovation.

Mikhail Pletnev’s wonderful 1978 transcription of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet has been played in Santa Rosa several times, the last spiritually by Nareh Arghamanyan in Newman, and Ms. Dedik selected the Sugar Plum Fairy and Intermezzo parts from the original seven movements. The second received the most orchestral playing in the program, with a lush romantic sonority that at times had a brittle tone in forte passages. Her right-hand skips were unfailingly accurate.

Two popular Scriabin studies ended the short program – the C-Sharp Minor Etude from Op. 2, and arguably the composer’s most popular composition, the D Sharp Minor from Op. 8. The first, a Horowitz specialty, was played with lovely inner voices and a deft, languorous touch. Surprisingly in the super dramatic D Sharp Ms. Dedik didn’t master it technically, and at the points of maximum dramatic power where octave doubling is frequently used her conception had authority without the requisite punch and ecstasy.

Called for an encore, the pianist turned to Chopin’s F-Sharp Major Nocturne (Op. 15, No.2). It was a mildly agitated but not hurried performance with elegant ornamentation, and was a welcome respite from the elemental Scriabin Etude. Responding to more applause, Ms. Dedik gave a resounding reading of the Op. Posthumous Chopin Waltz in E Minor.