The performance began with two sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. Martha drew her audience in with her fine playing the first sonata (K277) coming to a dramatic climax and the second (K178) lively and animated.
Until I'd heard Martha's Naxos CD I had never come across Alexandra Tansman. The Cavatina suite was originally a collection of four dances (not including the "Danza Pomposa") published in 1950, winning first prize at the International Music Competition in Siena, Italy in 1952. Martha demonstrated her command of technique especially in the Scherzino with alternate tremolo and arpeggio passages. The Sarabande brought a tranquil mood after the more rhythmic Preludio. I especially loved the lyrical Bacarole played with gentle dexterity. The suite completed with the Danza Pomposa which was published later as a separate composition, that was added to the suite at the request of Segovia, to give the suite a livelier conclusion which Martha demonstrated to true form.
The Barrios pieces were played with passion. I was particularly enchanted with the Julia Florida where Martha captured the romantic feel of the piece.
After the intermission we were treated to a world premiere of Ciaccona by Bryan Johanson. This was a beautiful piece based on an 18th century melody, consisting of 24 continuous variations on the theme. Although the style was of the period there were rhythmic and harmonic hints of the 21st century.
The Suite Antiliana by Ernesto Cordero was captivating from the
rippling sonorous tones of the Quisqueya movement, the nostalgic poise of the
Homenaje a la Catedrai de Santo Domingo, the majestic Cuban inspired Pavana
Guajira, the Caribbean inspired sound of the Boriken and final lively Seis Milonga.
In the Joaquin Turina Sonata, which had been written for Segovia, Martha had researched the original score rather than simply play the standard arranged version. The flamenco influences shone through from the strident Allegro to the rasgueados chords of Allegro Vivo to great dramatic effect.
For an encore Martha played Cancion, by Carlos Rivera, a lovely
gentle soothing piece to finish a wonderful evening.
For more infomation about Martha Masters visit her website at http://www.marthamasters.com
Saturday 21st September 2002 7:30pm