Concert Review

SCHUBERT Arpeggione Sonata, MARTINU Viola Sonata, BRAHMS Viola Sonata in Eb. Vladimir Bukac (viola) Arkadi Zenziper (piano) Wallace Collection, London. 9 July 2000 (PGW)


The Wallace Collection, refurbished and recently re-opened (see S&H review) now has more galleries in which to see the Collection and a roofed central courtyard café. It is now again resounding to Sunday Morning music presented by the Springboard Trust.

Vladimir Bukac

Arkadi Zenziper

Vladimir Bukac and Arkadi Zenziper are well established artists, in their late 30s and early 40s, who had not previously given recitals in London. It was an auspicious debut in a programme consisting of two sonatas arranged for viola and one original. The violist has been a member of the renowned Talich Quartet for some years, first as second violin, now playing the viola. He has an easy manner and produces warm tone, the sort of sound that would encourage a youngster to take up this former Cinderella amongst instruments. The partnership with his Russian pianist, now based in Dresden, was excellent. Balance was good, with just the right give and take and easy lyricism in the always delightful Arpeggione sonata. Zenziper, who trained in St Petersburg and is based in Dresden, is a small man with tiny hands and nimble fingers, but he produced remarkable power in the Brahms sonata.

The Martinu was a rarity - listed as No.1 (1955) but it appears to have had no sequel. Written in New York it looks to the composer's national roots, which he never forsook, and also has some affinities with Copland's music. It is in two free and rhapsodic movements and was a welcome novelty to the Wallace Collection audience.

Unprepared for their ovation at the end, they had brought no music for an encore, so Bukac provided an unaccompanied Capriccio by Vieuxtemps before they both returned to take a final bow.

The Martinu sonata with Reger suites and Rebecca Clarke's sonata can be enjoyed on Bukac's recital for Calliope's series L'Alto au XX Siecle [Calliope CAL 9285]. A solo viola recital by Vladimir Bukac, representing his 'farewell to the violin', is due for release alter in the summer.

There are piano recitals at the Wallace Collection on Sundays at 11.30, 16 & 23 July (refreshments and an opportunity to view the Collection included) and there will be a further series of recitals in November.

Peter Grahame Woolf


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