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Andrei Licaret at the Romanian Embassy

By Stephen Brookes
The Washington Post •  October 13, 2007

George Enescu
What’s it take to get a little George Enescu around here? The Romanian composer wrote some of the most lyrical, richly evocative music of the early twentieth century, but is woefully little heard here these days. So you’d think that a recital by one of Romania’s most promising young musicians, given at the residence of the Romanian ambassador, would be a chance to flood your ears with this rare and wonderful stuff.

Sadly, you’d only be partly right.  Pianist Andrei Licaret did play a bit of Enescu on Wednesday night:  just two movements from the Piano Suite Op. 10.  And they were, as you’d expect, rhapsodic essays of the most elegant kind, full of translucent harmonies and imaginative writing. Licaret played them naturally, poetically and with extraordinary attention to detail; a tantalizing glimpse that left you wanting more.

At 25, Licaret is still so baby-faced that he set off waves of maternal cooing when he sat down at the piano. But he displayed a powerful technique in the rest of the program, which included Schumann’s Kreisleriana Op. 16, Beethoven’s Sonata No. 30 Op. 109, and three devilish little sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti.

They’re all challenging works, and the Beethoven is one of those daunting, late-period enigmas that few pianists can really make work.  Licaret played them all with ample technique and often a strong lyric sense, especially in the radiant second movement of the Schumann.  But as often as not he seemed impatient -- dispatching the pieces rather than sinking deeply into them -- and didn’t always show a distinctive, developed personality behind the virtuosic fingerwork.

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 01:10AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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