After a brief ‘entr’acte’, the second half of the program began with Debussy’s unaccompanied classic Syrinx. Kaili Maimets’ rendition of this well-known piece had a thoroughly professional flair to it. The next piece was Saint-Saëns’ Romance, Op. 37 which showed the duo’s sense of style and musicianship. The sensitive accompaniment of the piano, was very much in keeping with the ultra conservative concept of this work.
Claire de Lune, without a doubt Debussy’s best known solo piano composition, was exquisitely interpreted by Mariane Patenaude. The demands upon the pianist include every aspect of piano technique imaginable and she seemed not to have had any particular difficulties in enthralling the audience with her comfortable command and control of dynamics, touch, arm weight, and musicality. It was an excellent preamble to the final work in the program.
The playing in Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata, Op. 94 (in four movements) was aggressive yet sensitive and the interplay between both performers in the difficult angular lines and ascending/descending arpeggios was perfectly nuanced. Real virtuosity was demonstrated here by their interactive and highly enthusiastic playing, which was a fitting end to the concert.
Ms. Maimets demonstrated an extraordinary musical perfection and expressive strength in her playing. The piano accompaniment was at the same time powerful, vigorous, colourful and discrete. With elegant and varied articulations, with great breathing until the last fading pianissimo, and the flutter-tonguing technique exhibited in the surprising Sancan, the flute and piano together appeared in all their richness and glory. An impressively well prepared recital of not so easy repertoire. The duo bewitched the audience with their brilliant virtuosity, enthusiasm and energy, making it a perfect performance.
Karl J. Raudsepp (in collaboration with Armas Maiste)