The fine recital series at the University of Maryland International Piano Festival continued last night with a concert by Ivan Moravec, the acclaimed Czech musician.
His stylish offerings of Bach, Chopin, Debussy and Beethoven well deserved the standing ovation accorded them.
Opening with Bach's Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor, Moravec launched his stellar technique into action. The arpeggios, broken chords and runs in the fantasy's first section gave way to the more intense emotions of the fugue, where voicing was pure and crystalline.
Beethoven's 32 Variations in C minor, based on a short original theme, depends heavily on rhythmic elements for interest. Moravec's bristling clarity provided a full range of textures and depths to this challenging work.
Beethoven's Sonata in C Sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight"), played well by most standards, fell somewhere short of the variations' razor-sharp definition.
A creamy pallet of melting tones graced Debussy's popular "Children's Corner." Each miniature selection was beautifully arched and decisively articulated.
Closing the program, two Chopin scherzos, increasingly frequent concert selections, were expertly crafted.
The work in C sharp minor was excellent, but the work in B flat minor was particularly passionate. Its expansive material received elegant, lyrical treatment throughout, and Moravec exercised marvelous control over the contrasting thematic elements.