The recital given by pianist Andrzej Wasowski Wednesday night in the Terrace Theater puts one in a quandary. Was his playing of Chopin marred by an overly intensive style that tended to wreak havoc with the music, or was his overbearing intensity a result of a less than pristine technique? When he sailed through the Andante Spianato with relative ease and grace, it was hoped that some of the previous severity in style had subsided; instead, the Grande Polonaise Brilliante that followed suffered from labored playing in the more brilliant passages. The Nocturne in F Sharp, Op. 48, No. 2, which opened the concert, fared no better because of Wasowski's inability or refusal to relax and let the music flow. The Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23, and the Mazurka in C Minor, Op. 56, No. 3, were done relatively well but with some of the same problems.
The second half of the concert was given over to the Partita, No. 2, in C Minor by Bach and "Carnaval," Op. 9, by Robert Schumann. Bach on the piano can be difficult to play convincingly, but Wasowski gave a successful rendition, with his technique coming into focus and with elegant phrasing. Only his reluctance to ornament in the repeats prevented it from being a performance of the first order. "Carnaval" did not come off as well because of luxurious expression in some movements and awkwardness in others.