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press reviews

Florian Kitt and Rita Medjimorec

Written by Alan Cooper

reproduced with permission


Music in the University - Florian Kitt and Rita Medjimorec - The Elphinstone Hall

The Austrian chamber duo, cellist Florian Kitt and pianist Rita Medjimorec gave a riveting recital in the Elphinstone Hall on Sunday 16th November. As well as being part of the University concert season, it was included in the package for sound 2008 which with just two events to go is nearing its conclusion. The contemporary piece in the programme was completed just before summer this year by the English composer and musicologist Anthony Payne (b. 1936). I remember Barry Cooper who was for some time a music lecturer ay Aberdeen being introduced as "the man who writes Beethoven's music for him", well, Anthony Payne is the man who writes Elgar's music for him. Such an intense relationship with the work of another composer is bound to leave a mark and indeed the opening of Out of the Depths Comes Song for cello alone did indeed have a smooth English romantic flavour. The piano entry when it came was something of a surprise being quite brittle and chattering. This contrast was something that was carried on through most of the work but careful attention to the cello part revealed it to be far more complex and challenging than its outer gloss suggested, at least to begin with.

The duo began their recital not with this but with a very substantial work by Kodaly, his Sonata No.4. The opening Fantasia had a broad romantic sweep. This came across most powerfully in Rita Medjimorec's piano playing. I felt that Florian Kitt was at something of a disadvantage in the cavernous acoustic of the Elphinstone Hall. The lower tones of the cello sounded warm and rich but the upper notes were somewhat thinned. This mattered less in the energetic Allegro Vivace and not at all in the Cello Sonata and the Drei Kleine Stücke Op.11 by Anton Webern. Webern was a master of brevity, able to say more with just a few notes than some composers with many pages. Perhaps I could take a leaf out of his book as well.

The second half of the concert actually quite eclipsed the first half. Prokofiev's Sonata Op. 119 is a wonderful piece bursting with ideas. He is the true inheritor of the spirit of Tchaikovsky you only have to look at the colossal output of the two composers and not a dull bar from either. The wonderful humour and energy of the central movement was delivered with glorious panache by Florian Kitt and the Allegro which opens with one of Prokofiev's splendidly quirky melodic twists was no less dramatically served up. The pair ended their concert with Martinu's Variations on a Theme by Rossini, a show piece certainly, but musically so much more than that. There were several local cellists in the audience, fine ones at that and they were most impressed by the fine performance.

Original article reproduced here with kind permission.

events mentioned
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16Sun7.45 pmAberdeenFlorian Kitt, cello & Rita Medjimorec, piano