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RECITAL REVIEW

Pianist Anastasia Dedik At Spring Lake Village Sept. 17

DEDIK'S POTENT BEETHOVEN AND CHOPIN AT SPRING LAKE VILLAGE RECITAL

by Terry McNeill
Monday, September 17, 2018

Anastasia Dedik returned Sept. 17 to the Spring Lake Village Classical Music Series in a recital that featured three familiar virtuoso works in potent interpretations.

Chopin’s G Minor Ballade hasn’t been heard in Sonoma County public concerts since a long-ago Earl Wild performance, and Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata with Valentina Lisitsa was a distant memory from 2010, both in Newman Auditorium. The same for the warhorse B Flat Scherzo of Chopin, so it was good to hear music that is justly famous and justly glorious.

But no nod to the past, as the Russia-born pianist gave full measure of dramatic intensity to all three in a 50-minute concert before 150 in Montgomery Auditorium. Perhaps the finest playing occurred in the Beethoven Sonata, with an interpretation that captured the big-boned drama that never sounded frantic or too fast. The frequent left hand repeated notes in c had the proper menace, the trills were even and tone colors were rich. The five piu piano notes at the end of the allegro were played in a lovely decrescendo.

The repeats in the variation movement were played without differentiation but sang softly, leading to a held damper pedal for the clangorous entry of the famous 13 fortissimo notes that begin the volcanic finale. Here Ms. Dedik used a staccato touch in places and a left-hand inner voice to add to the momentum and sweep. The last crashing chords generated a loud ovation.

In a program of minor key drama, the Op. 23 Ballade fit right in, and the initial playing did the right thing – eliciting the feeling of an unfolding story. Here and there wrong notes crept in, and over pedaling blurred scale passages after the orchestral repeat of the second theme. That said, throughout the evening Ms. Dedik’s scale mastery never left her, and there were Romantic-era touches such as legato octaves that were shaped rather than rushed. She built the big climaxes late in the piece and heightened the drama before the terrifying ascending runs in the coda by taking two extra-long pauses. Repose among the carnage.

Muscular playing continued in the Op. 31 Chopin Scherzo, with the “call to battle” opening bars juxtaposing histrionic tension with a languorous approach in the quiet Trio. It was a brassy and exciting reading that featured brilliant finger technique and again brought a standing ovation.

Somehow among all the tempestuous music and brawny playing Ms. Dedik chose a slow expressive Chopin Waltz, the A Minor of Op. 34, and she played the cello-like themes with chaste phrasing and amorous attention to the subtle alterations of rhythms.