On Thursday, 20.10., the Osterc Hall of Slovenian Philharmonics hosted two young musicians, violist Isabel Villanueva and pianist Anna Korepova. The concert was organized by Jeunesses Musicales Slovenia, as a part of their regular concert cycle entitled JM Stage.
Violist Isabel Villanueva is among the best young Spanish musicians. She studied in Spain, Italy and Britain, where she currently lives. She is successfully performing and also recording in Spain and Great Britain. Pianist Anna Korepova is MA of chamber music, succesfully playing concerts and working as an accompanist. She is recording in Russia and France. For their performance in Ljubljana, they have chosen quite a demanding and rather difficult program. Affection of the soloist towards music by Spanish composers was obvious. This is ment in a positive way, because in Slovenia we very often miss the performance of works by Slovenian composers. These are rarely included in the repertoires of our artists, especially in terms of chamber music.
Brahms Sonata in F Minor, No. 1, Op. 120 opened the concert. Musicians presented it with exquisite style and extremely convincing narrative performance. Their playig was in the dynamics and agogics completely aligned and created a smooth-flowing dialogue between the parts of two completely contrasting musical instruments. Most fascinating were the expressive phrasing and emphasised color and mood contrasts between movements and also within the sections of individual movements. Next came the Sonata for violin and piano by Enrique Granados, adapted by Isabel Villanueva for viola and piano. This was probably the deepest and most personalized interpretation of the whole concert. Remarkable sense for respecting the internal logic and the form of the piece was shown by the young violist in consistent phrasing and intensification of dynamics. Special quality was added to the interpretation by adding lyricism and tone beauty, that the musician is able to take out of the Italian viola, built around 1670 by Enrico Catenaro.
After the break, the young violist performed the Hindemith Sonata for viola solo No. 1, Op. 25. The performance showed all her technical sophistication, stable intonation and clear attacco. Concentration, the "depth" and light virtuosity are the words that best summarize her performance. In the end we heard the Spanish suite by Manuel de Falla, arranged by musician herself. All six movements had a lively, picturesque sound, suitable to the names of the individual movements. In addition, the pianist must be praised. Anna Korepova was always equivalent in delivering music content, and was always discreet enough as an accompanist. In our memory, we will keep the culture of her "key-pressing", with which she always formed a filled and alive tone of wide dynamic scale.
With this outstanding musical event, only one negative thought is connected - the disappointment when looking at the more or less empty Osterc hall. Therefore, the audience seemed to have even a more special honor to listen to these two excellent musicians who have obviously come to Ljubljana to appear in front a very selected audience.