Pi­anist So­phie Pacini im­presses at Pi­ano Sun­day in con­cert hall

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS -

Pi­anist So­phie Pacini made her Scot­tish debut on Sun­day in Perth Con­cert Hall and it won’t be long be­fore other Scot­tish venues will be clam­our­ing for her ser­vices, writes Garry Fraser.

The rea­son? A sheer unadul­ter­ated tal­ent, fresh­ness of in­ter­pre­ta­tion and an un­be­liev­able skill. She is only 25, but is al­ready an es­tab­lished “must-see” per­former.

Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt… even the most tech­ni­cally chal­leng­ing doesn’t faze this young lady, her pro­gramme cul­mi­nat­ing in Liszt’s Rem­i­nis­cences de Don Juan.

This is reck­oned to be one of the most dif­fi­cult pieces ever writ­ten. Maybe it is, but those who reck­oned didn’t reckon on Ms Pacini whose un­flus­tered dis­play was noth­ing short of ex­traor­di­nary.

This tour de force needs flair, tech­ni­cal bril­liance as well as flu­id­ity and, at times, stamina. She has all of these, and more. But Ms Pacini’s softer side shone bright at the start of the con­cert, prov­ing that it doesn’t need hero­ics all the time.

Two Chopin Noc­turnes were de­li­ciously sculp­tured, with su­perb in­ti­macy and grace, and while the fa­mous B flat mi­nor Scherzo de­manded more pas­sion, there was artistry mixed with the dy­namic.

In­be­tween the Chopin and the Liszt stood a sonata with prob­a­bly the most well-known open­ing of them all. Beethoven’s Wald­stein is my favourite of all his 32 sonatas and while I know it in­ti­mately, some per­for­mances al­most make it seem like I’ve never heard it be­fore.

So­phie brought a fresh­ness of in­ter­pre­ta­tion, a flu­id­ity of per­for­mance and a keen­ness to high­light the work’s con­sid­er­able charms, mak­ing it not just classy but ex­cit­ing.

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