Three young musicians showed abundant technique but rarer moments of emotional depth in a recital last night at Dumbarton Church.
Violinist Jennifer Gordon played Faure''s lyric A-major violin sonata with unerring fingerwork but in a mild manner that missed the underlying drama. However, in Bloch's gut-wrenching "Nigun," she communicated real passion. "Tzigane" by Ravel calls for every trick in the book. Gordon played extremely well but with a demeanor much too serious for a piece of froth.
In his solo work, pianist Andrew Degrado (who also accompanied Gordon) also showed quick fingers, but his playing suffered from overuse of the pedal and lack of melodic clarity. Chopin's Barcarolle, Op. 60, was thick in the middle, with correspondingly weak bass and treble. There was more resonance in Liszt's virtuosic Mephisto Waltz No. 1. But it all sounded too easy and too rushed. Lightning-fast octaves (and technically they were terrific) rolled into each other in a dense, noisy cloud.
Cellist Rachel Young, a high school senior, was the youngest player. Her elegant, sweet-toned interpretation of Beethoven's A-major sonata showed exceptional line and drama. (The important piano part was ably played by Kathryn Brake.) In "Elfentanz" by David Popper, Young demonstrated a sense of balance and a sense of fun.