This was a very nice concert indeed! We had the chance to hear three great works in a performance to match.
Danae Kara, in this recital, chose to play Beethoven and Bartok. She began with Beethoven's Sonata op.7 in E flat major. It is a long and difficult work, requiring intense concentration from both the soloist and the audience. Kara's sound was mature and well controlled throughout the piece. I particulary liked the deeply expressive sound of the 2nd movement (Largo, con gran espressione) - I can still hear the sensitive C major chord of the beginning.
The second piece before the interval came Bartok's Piano Sonata BB 88 (Sz. 80) (1926). What struck me from the very first note was how clearly and decicevly Kara changed her sound character. Her sound became harsh, percussive, robust - exactly as it should be for music like this. The technical difficulties of the Sonata were successfully overcome, and her whole performance was utterly persuasive. It was obvious to me that Kara is well acquainted with this music.
(For those interested in listening to this Sonata with the score, here is a great live recording by Martha Argerich:)
In the second half Danae Kara returned to the stage to perform Beethoven's Sonata op.53 (The well-known "Waldstein".) Again, what made the greatest impression on me was how the character of the music was firmly established from the very first note. The initial C major chords were full of joy and expectation, in a well established rhythm. I have played this Sonata in the past, and I am well aware of its difficulty! Kara's playing, once more, was a delight!
To the warm applause of the audience, Danae responded by playing a very sweet valse - by Beethoven again.
All in all, a very demanding program, carried out with professionalism, care and love.