Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Rudolf Firkusny, the recitalist in Maryland University's International Piano Festival Tuesday night, is one of the modern aristocrats of the keyboard. There is always a certain fastidiousness about his playing, a quality, not of inhibition, but of august reserve.
One imagines he would sooner lose a hand than use it uncouthly. He never does anything for mere effect. And though he's far from being a cerebral musician, the vigor and clarity of his conceptions bespeak a great strength of intellect.
All these traits and others equally notable spoke through his performances Tuesday night, in a program that included the four inpromptus of Schubert's Op. 90, Beetheven's E Major Sonata. 109. the charming, rarely heard Theme and Variations. Op. 36 by Dvorak, and Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." The music of each composer was marked by some centrally defining attribute - emotional immediacy in the Schubert; dramatic reverie in the Beethoven; anearthy gusto in the Dvorak, and boldness of color and line in the Mussorgsky. Firkusny doesn't quite have the massive senerity or digital electricity the Mussorgskuy score craves, but he's such a master at husbanding his resources efficiently that you scarcely notice. And when he turns that same mastery on music such as the Schubert Impromptus or the Andante of the Beethoven Sonata, the result is pure magic. An altogether rewarding evening.