Belfast Telegraph

Jablonski saves day with Hungarian masterpiece

Festival of Chamber Music: Peter Jablonski. Great Hall, QUB

By Terry Blain

One man's indisposition is another's opportunity, and Swedish pianist Peter Jablonski, deputising for Stephen Kovacevich, proved an intriguing substitute on Saturday evening at the festival.

Part of the intrigue was the programme that Jablonski brought with him, which centred on a rarely heard work by Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti. Musica Ricercata is in 11 movements, in the course of which Ligeti references Liszt, Chopin and even Debussy, in the context of his own robustly tensile, steely keyboard idiom.

Jablonski's playing was superbly well-tooled technically, with forensic terracing of dynamics, and an ability to make audible individual notes within tightly clustered chord sequences. His account of the closing Andante moderato e tranquillo, a fugal homage to the baroque composer Frescobaldi, was beautifully weighed and measured pianistically, unfolding with impressive gravity.

A similarly scrupulous sensibility informed Jablonski's patiently probing traversal of the Augmented Canon in Inverted Motion from Bach's Art of Fugue.

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