Anne Koscielny completed her traversal of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas last night at the University of Maryland Tawes Recital Hall in a most spectacular fashion. In this concert, the eighth and final in a series, she progressed chronologically from the relative simplicity of Beethoven's Sonata in F Major, Op. 10, No. 2, to the gathering storm of his "Tempest" in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2, and then cut a bold swath through the thickets of the "Hammerklavier" in B flat Major, Op. 106.
One had a sense of completing a musical journey, for the formal designs became more complex, the technical demands greater with each work. Koscielny proved to be a forceful, assertive player who made each phrase count and connect, ever mindful of the music's shape and direction.
The gently ringing canons in the F Major Sonata's presto brought on the thunderous peals of the "Tempest." She made the transitions between eruption and easement smoothly, stockpiling her resources to make the closing allegretto a rhythmically taut cloudburst.
Koscielny seemed in complete control of the "Hammerklavier," quite a feat when one considers Beethoven's inventive detours and intentional avoidance of simple cadences. As if guided by the composer's logic, she deftly brought out the drama within dramas of the scherzo; the myriad motives within themes in the loquacious adagio.
The stop-and-start finale, a fugal bombardment, possessed a near-vengeful quality in Koscielny's hands. Nevertheless, the inner voicings sounded clearly. She rose dramatically from her bench and brought the closing chord down with a crash -- altogether proper, in this instance.