Sponsored by the Edward Aldwell Centre
Jerusalem Music Academy Concert Hall
Sonia Rubinsky, a Brazilian-born guest pianist from Paris, presented a recital ranging from Mozart to Villa-Lobos to Chopin at the Jerusalem Music Academy Concert Hall last week.
Welcome though Mozart and Chopin always are, it was Villa-Lobos whose presence rescued the program from being a standard one. In Mozart's "Sonata in A Major" the pianist displayed a soft, almost caressing touch and discreet flexibility of tempi that avoided a too mechanical rendition. Chopin's Ballade Nr. 1 was played with persuasive emotional involvement that tastefully tempered the performance's technical brilliance.
Villa-Lobos' "Cicio Brasileiro" was the concert's climax and also its surprise, and not only because its piano works are hardly known. The playing was refreshingly temperamental, providing an electrifying contrast to Mozart's elegant calm at the program's start. Villa-Lobos' explosive outbursts were released with convincing force, and the work's demanding technical hurdles were tackled with effortless virtuosity.