Pianist Sophie Pacini impresses at Piano Sunday in concert hall
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.