Osvaldas Grinius
www.kamane.lt 2008 08 25



L.Dorfmanas. Photo by M.Raškovskis

In brief: Nasty weather, similarly as poor performance of music, may spoil the festive mood. Events of the Assumption Sunday in Pažaislis Convent persuaded of this: the sky poured in rain, the event lasted too long, and Gioachino Rossini music interpreted by inexperienced musicians left a rather bad impression.

While preparing for the concert of Pažaislis Music Festival on August 23, one had nothing to worry about: rain was not to be feared in M.Žilinskas Art Gallery, and surnames of the performers were known not only to Lithuanian music lovers.

Only French composers' music resounded in the programme prepared by the singer Liora Grodnikaitė living in England and the pianist Leonidas Dorfmanas who related his career with Germany. L.Grodnikaitė is known as a universal performer interpreting chamber and oratory genre music. This time she justified her name as an opera soloist, who is becoming popular quickly.

One could notice that the programme chosen by the singer was one-sided and did not create conditions for the clear change of characters. Heroines of Ambroise Thomas, Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet operas are lyrical, tender and loving women, who were painted by the soloist by soft colours of mezzo soprano. Dalila from Camille Saint-Saëns opera was exceptional by her pride. Notes of petulant character could be heard in the snappy aria of Concepción from Maurice Raveli opera “L’Heure espagnole” (Spanish Hour).

L.Grodnikaitė is a subtle artist, who does not seek for too bright outside effects and who bases her interpretations on logical links of the composer and libretto writer’s work. She does not try to surprise listeners by the power of her voice. Piano aesthetics is closer to the singer. Her voice sounded smoothly, the low register of the voice was clean, sounds of the upper diapason were precise. She has also put much effort to achieve clear and precise sound of the French language.

However, it seems that the singer did not dear to reveal all her qualities to Kaunas audience. It is hard to say what were the reasons, but the stage partner of the singer made quite a lot of influence on the general atmosphere of the evening.

The pianist L.Dorfmanas, who accompanied to the soloist and who performed several solo music pieces, is a known performer to the Lithuanian audience. He is artistic and impulsive, the fortepiano played by him sounds in pleasant tones. Still, the concert of this musician was like a slight rain for people who did not take umbrellas but who loved music.

While listening to the first solo insert – C.Saint-Saëns etude “En forme de Valse” (Etude of Waltz Form) No.6 from the collection of six etudes Op.52, the thought persisted whether the French composer wrote such “unclean” music? The melody and harmony of the charming M.Ravel’s play “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (Pavana for the Dead Princess) did not avoid “inclusions” of the pianist, which justified that the performer could not be called a virtuoso. Still, “Gnosiennes” by Erik Satie sounded sincerely and purely.

Unexpected interpretational solutions and imprecision, which made the soloist feel uncannily, could be noticed in accompaniment to opera arias too. It is rather strange as the role of a pianist-accompanist is the visit card of L.Dorfmanas. It is understandable that there is not much time for rehearsals when the artists are separated by thousands of kilometres. In that case professionalism and musical intuition may save one. Still, it appears that sometimes it is not enough. And what a listener should do? There is only one answer – always carry the umbrella.

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