Michael Davidman, pianist - Review by Donald Isler

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Michael Davidman, pianist - Review by Donald Isler

Post by Lance » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:11 pm

Review by Donald Isler

Michael Davidman, Pianist
Summit Music Festival at Manhattanville College
Purchase, New York
July 30th, 2014

Chopin: Nocturne in D-Flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2
Ravel: Ondine from Gaspard de la nuit
Liszt: Sonata in B Minor

In addition to the solo and chamber music concerts by its artist faculty, the Summit Music Festival presents recitals by some of its extraordinary students, such as the one last night by 17-year-old pianist Michael Davidman, a long-time student of the noted pianist and pedagogue, Efrem Briskin, the Artistic Director of the Festival.

Already a seasoned performer, Mr. Davidman appears very comfortable onstage, and in this repertoire never makes a false step musically. Everything he does is convincing. Which is more than one can say about many pianists who are older.

The Chopin Nocturne was idiomatic, and had a natural flow right from the beginning. He made the most of the expressivity of the left hand accompaniment as well as the melody, and there was a very fine and dramatic lead-in to the last statement of the main theme. The fantastic filigree work, which begins in measure 51, was not played like the dazzling fireworks many pianist produce there, but was softer, and beautiful nonetheless. And the diminuendo in sixths two measures before the end was exquisite.

Mr. Davidman’s Ondine was shimmering, with changing levels of intensity, power and delicacy, and played with seeming ease.

His Liszt Sonata had some of the finest aspects of youth: impetuosity and daring (he pushed limits in both speed and loudness), plus taste and sensitivity. One noticed his fine ear for different levels of soft playing on the page before the fugato, the tremendous climaxes he produced later on, and his sensitivity to know exactly how long to wait dramatically, and for the sound to die away in the last, hugely loud music before beginning the Andante sostenuto section on the next to the last page.

This is a young musician who is already an artist.

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