Making her Washington debut yesterday afternoon at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, Canadian violinist Chantal Juillet was presented by the Young Concert Artist Series, a prestigious showcase for rising musicians. Juillet's style is not pretentious or powerhouse, but she commands a sweet delicate tone that lends her playing much charm.
Opening with Mozart's Sonata in B-flat, K. 454, Juillet and pianist William Tritt rushed many runs and flourishes in the first movement, and ignored some of the finale's stirring rhythmic vitality. The middle movement contains a weighty emotional statement, despite its rapid creation in 1784, and the pair communicated Mozart's sentiments well.
Two French works, Faure''s Opus 13 Sonata and Ravel's "Tzigane," were impressive for the clarity of their lyric lines and for their fluid yet unveiled approach. Juillet did not get lost in the sonata's sumptuous melodies, and her reserve is to be commended. More attention to the tricky business of closing phrases would have added to the performance, however.
Barto'k's devilish Sonata for Solo Violin (1944), commissioned by Yehudi Menuhin, was performed with a good bit of drama and vigor. The fugue theme was especially agile, and the work emerged as a meticulously prepared gem.