Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski is on a U.S. tour this month, making his first return to the Washington area since a recital at the National Gallery of Art in 2006. For his debut at Shriver Hall in Baltimore, where he played Sunday evening, the program paired two of the composers whose music he has recorded to critical acclaim, Bach and Schumann. Anderszewski is not a fastidious fine-tuner of sound at the keyboard, but he used a broad palette of articulation and voicing to put his mark on some familiar pieces.
He chose Bach’s third and sixth English suites, and they made an ingenious pairing. Anderszewski added many small embellishments to the score, taking all of the repeats, but never to the point of obfuscating Bach’s music. In both suites, he made the preludes flashy and fast, the allemandes melancholy and smooth, the courantes more active, the gavottes light and prancing, and the gigues forceful and even tragic.