Tim Homfray hears a recital of Brahms and Schubert at London’s Wigmore Hall on 16 December 2022
Johan Dalene (violin) Julia Hagen (cello) Igor Levit (piano)
Wigmore Hall 16 December 2022
The fine young violinist Johan Dalene and pianist Igor Levit had the first half to themselves in Brahms’s Violin Sonata in D minor op.108. Dalene produced fierce, bravura playing in the opening of the first-movement Allegro, which contrasted well with bariolage that was gentle and beguiling in a performance full of fire and poetry. The opening of the second-movement Adagio, all on the G string, was emotionally raw and vivid, and later Dalene was both captivating and prayerful. Igor Levit was an empathetic partner in the third-movement Un poco presto e con sentimento, and the two of them were in torrid, fast-flowing accord in the finale, with Dalene producing rapidly shifting expressive states, mellifluous at one moment and bow-rasping the next.
For Schubert’s B flat major Piano Trio they were joined by cellist Julia Hagen. The opening was warm-blooded, before Hagen took the heat from it with her elegant playing of the second subject. In the second movement they neatly negotiated Schubert’s changes of gear, and the third-movement Scherzo was pert and bucolic. The players fully realised the contrasts within the finale, relishing its moments of delight.