Piano Series founder shows off his skills
The International Piano Series at the College of Charleston presented its artistic director and founder Enrique Graf in a rare and brilliant concert Tuesday night at the Sottile Theatre.
Graf, a pianist of the highest caliber, kept the capacity house spellbound with his carefully chosen and beautifully produced program.
Opening with Joseph Haydn's final piano sonata, No. 52 in E-flat Major, Graf demonstrated a clear affinity for this music, using extraordinary articulation in this gem of the classical period.
Graf chose three of the five: "Morceaux de Fantaisie," Op. 3 (1892) by Sergei Rachmaninoff, beginning with the "Prelude" in C-sharp minor, followed by the depressing "Elegie" (with its reference to the Dies Irae, a recurrent motif in Rachmaninoff's compositions), and ending with the show-off "Polichinelle." Graf dazzled with his execution.
Hector Tosar's "Danza Criolla," a short, modern piece resembling a folk dance from Argentina, gave Graf the chance to show his skill with unfamiliar and decidedly odd harmonics.
Graf tackled with a clear vision Franz Liszt's volatile, maniacal "Sonata in B minor," a tour-de-force of lyric beauty which alternated with massive, thundering chords.
Graf received a well-earned standing ovation.