Friday, February 13, 2015

Le Jardin de Janine

Janine Jansen and Itamar Golan at Zankel Hall Feb 10 2015  

A lovely program of two sonatas coupled with character pieces: the first half devoted to Prokofieff, opening with the Five Melodies, then the F minor sonata. The second half was given to Ravel, ending with Tzigane.
Ms. Jansen is an elegant, refined and dignified artist; her pianist, rather less so. The concert left a strange taste. The Five Melodies have such delicacy, sumptuous harmonies and wry pathos - It seemed that the violinist didn't play through to the heart of the music here and throughout the evening. Perhaps she was accommodating the headstrong brashness of her partner, who, if not necessarily overpowering in volume, was thick, his impasto strokes wearying the listener very quickly. The Sonata was missing a steely bitterness from both players, and in the opening movement, her scales that represent the wind over the graves were even and pristine though not bone-chilling.