The "Distinctive Debut" at Carnegie Hall of Cellist Efe Baltacigil and Pianist Anna Polonsky was Friday night at Weill Recital Hall.
1. The program consisted of four sonatas ranging almost 200 years in music (1741 for the Bach and 1936 for the Saygun) and certainly each were treated with stylistic skill by both performers.
2. Efe uses the cello for a wide range of colors and emotions - I'm stunned as a fellow string player at his wide palette. I'm less thrilled with his way too audible breaths - mind you the audience was a bit noisy with coughing and sniffles too. But seriously at one point early on, I thought there was something wrong with his bow, when I realized, no that is his breath. (Some fine tennis players too make a bit too much noise when returning a serve [think Maria Sharapova] and you get over it...)
3. The choice of an encore - which the audience clearly wanted - was quite touching, the Andante movement of the Bach sonata in memory of a past professor at Curtis, Edward Aldwell. Aldwell was well respected for his scholarship of Bach and this was spot on.
4. Anna Polonsky was stunning and near perfect in the recital - especially moving was the Fantasia of Franck's sonata.
5. Most revealing was the musicality Baltacigil exuded in Ahmet Saygun's Sonata, opus 12. It's not a well known or great work, but in the hands of Efe and Anna, it sparkled like a diamond - with moments of pure joy and passion. I'd liken this particular work to a "Turkish" Debussy.
I'm looking forward to another recital this spring at Carnegie's Weill Hall when Joyce DiDonato makes her debut in Great Singers in Weill: Evenings of Song. You'll remember Joyce is a WSU grad and we had way too much fun in school. It's Thursday March 1st, 2007. One not to miss!