Tim Homfray visits London’s Wigmore Hall for the concert on 22 July 2019
The Slovenian violinist Lana Trotovsek bracketed this recital with A major sonatas by Beethoven. She opened with the op.12 no.2, in which the very Vivace first movement almost fell over itself; great fun but with details blurred. The slow movement had simple grace, and the melodic lines of the finale were made alive with accents. Lucijan Marija Škerjanc’s 1934 Intermezzo romantique is romantic indeed, a beautiful bon-bon with the instruments swapping fragments of phrases.
The opening Andante assai of Prokofiev’s First Sonata was severe and forceful, and the melody of the following Allegro brusco had a heroic swagger, followed by some almost brutal dialogue between violin and piano. In the Andante, subtle, warm playing promised bewitching beauty, but by the end it was hard and uncompromising. There was more brutality at the heart of the finale before the bleak return of the ‘graveyard’ music and desperate yearning on the G string. This was a remarkable performance. Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata was theatrical, with extrovert, hall-filling soliloquy turning instantly to confessional whisper. In the variations of the central Andante there were many characters, with touches of humour, and the dialogue between instruments in the finale had the true feel of live intuitive performance.