Mona Golabek's approach to the piano is a felieltous combination of the musicianship of the Myra Hess-Lilli Kraus school and the technical clarity of many of today's young artists.
She played a peculiarly structured but interesting program at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Saturday that had, as its foci, the beethoven "Waldstein" Sonata in the first half and Scriabin's Sonata No. 5 in F Sharp Major in the second. Sprinkled among these were Tchalkovsky's miniature "Song of the Lark, the premiere of William Kraft's "Ombra," etudes by Liszt and Scriabin, "In Memoriam" by William Bland, and Tchaikovsky's "Dumka" opus 59.
The Concert started on time which is news in itself so all the latecomers missed the lovely gentle "Song of the Lark."
Some missed a super performance of the first movement of the Beethoven, too. It was a beautifully calculated reading clear but carefully shaped and with a sense of inevitability at every point along the way.
Inexcusably, more latecomers were allowed to interrupt the mood of expectancy that preceded the first stroke of the second movement.
The Scriabin Sonata with its shifting textures resembling the movement of cloud layers, was handled with a nice combination of frenzy and mystique.
Kraft's "Ombra" is an eight-minute study in textures and instrumental color sort of a fantasy on sounds. Kraft writes that it is a study of shadows as its name suggests and light and on first hearing, it is a rather successful and attrative one.