When Bella Davidovich comes to town to play Chopin, don't miss her.
Last night the noted Russian pianist played for a capacity audience at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville, where every seat was filled.
The second half of the concert was occupied by the waltzes of Chopin to which Davidovich brought a wealth of color and poetic style. While all 14 waltzes do not often appear on programs, there is more than enough variety of mood, tempo, and key to make them eminently worth hearing provided the pianist can fully project their beauties. Davidovich has a wonderful kind of articulation which offered her enthusiastic listeners immaculate descending scales and a clarity in rapid passage work that was a delight. It is as much a matter of Chopin's genius as of her playing that she was most moving in the waltzes in A flat and the minors of A, E and F.
The evening began with the G Major Sonata, K. 283, of Mozart, continued with the third of Beethoven's Opus 31 sonatas, and included the Third Sonata of Prokofiev. These were fully informed in matters of style, with the second movement of the Beethoven a matter of special joy. Prokofiev's one-movement sonata began strongly and increased in emotive power as Davidovich moved into its final pages.
Her Mozart was a touch aloof, but this may have been a matter of the somewhat unresponsive piano which was also troublesome to the artist in the repeated notes of Chopin.