Dearbhla Collins (piano)

 

From "Romeo and Juliet" Op.75 Nos 2,3,6 - Prokofiev

Tales of an Old Grandmother Op.31 Nos 14 - Prokofiev

Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op.14 - Prokofiev

The Lane Gallery's Russian Season opened on Sunday with a piano recital by Dearbhla Collins. Further recitals in the series will take place on the two following Sundays.

As can be seen from the opus numbers the works by Prokofiev were played in the reverse of chronological order, becoming more avant garde, as it were, as the programme proceeded. So the pretty pictures of the Romeo and Juliet suite were followed by the superficially wistful Tales of an Old Grandmother, to be followed by the abrasive bravura of Piano Sonata No. 2.

Dearbhla Collins's style of playing did not vary much - a greater effort could have been made to bring out the differences in the works. She favours a rather heavy approach, as if the ghost of Rachmaninov were peering over Prokofiev's shoulder. I would have liked a crisper articulation and a more delicate use of the sustaining pedal. This would have brightened the texture and made the quite arresting harmonies more startling.

The Tales of an Old Grand- mother, which looks back with nostalgia to the innocence of fairy tales and forward to the modernism that earned the composer the title of enfant terrible, did succeed in conveying a bitter-sweet atmosphere: the performer was not too occupied by the brilliant pianism that is such a feature of the Sonata No. 2. In the Sonata Dearbhla Collins failed to verify the florid writing in anything but a technical sense.