Moravec captures Schumann's poetry
Ivan Moravec is a treasure, a pianist who combines extraordinary musical insight with a consummate technique that allows him to convey his intentions impeccably. Each of his concerts is a revelation, and last night's rendition of the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of guest conductor Eduardo Mata, was no exception.
Moravec's facility in virtuosic passages is above reproach, but it is his elegant phrasing and limpid tone that make his pianism unique. One could attend a lifetime of concerts without hearing the poetry of Schumann's work served so well. There was also energy in abundance, although Moravec's tone never turned harsh even in the loudest of passages.
Pianist Moravec and conductor Mata have performed the Schumann together several times and recorded the work for Dorian.
Their obvious affection for each other was displayed in the exchange of smiles before the performance and their warm embrace at its conclusion.
Their prior collaborations were certainly reflected in a performance that displayed uncommon unity between soloist and orchestra. Moravec engages in constant though subtle variations of tempo, but he and Mata were in unison from beginning to end.
Ivan Moravec is in that golden stage of a performer's career where a rich lifetime of musical experience is supported by undiminished physical powers. Anyone interested in great music-making should make every effort to attend one of the remaining performances.
[Rest of review deals with other performances, omitted here - ed.]