Eduard Stan's solo recital at the Enescu Society opened with an account of Grieg's Holberg Suite that clearly established the over-riding characteristics of the evening's playing: strength of architectural conception without neglecting telling nuances of detail. The Prelaudium was full of flourish and panache, the Sarabande built of finely graded dynamics, whilst much interest was found in the Gavotte's contrasting sections. Finest of all though was the Air, bringing to the fore Eduard's gift for sustaining a cantelina line that was introspective and searching. Unforced depth of tone and restraint marked out the closing Rigaudon.
The remainder of the first half was centred around the theme of water, with three excerpts from Liszt's Années de Pèlerinage and Liszt's transcription of Schubert's Auf dem Wasser zu singen. Les jeux d'eau à la villa d'Este was grandly evoked, with the succeeding Au lac de Wallenstadt impressing by its relative sense of calm. Au bord d'une source held much poetry in Eduard Stan's delicate touch and subtlety of phrasing. The Schubert-Liszt transcription was at first suitably lyrical then ever more elaborated, to be at once true to the original and the best excesses of Lisztian exuberance.
Schubert's Impromptu in F minor gave Eduard Stan the opportunity to explore at length a nuanced palette of colours with playing that was always stylistically aware.
Such qualities were continued in his masterly account of Enescu's second piano suite, op. 10. The Toccata was suitably majestic, big-boned without being too strongly built. The Sarabande had its nobility underlined by an evenness of dynamic and crispness of articulation. The Pavane found Stan delighting in the delicacy and lightness of Enescu's writing, bringing both a sense of spaciousness and elegance of phrasing to bear on the results. The glories of the closing Bourrée, in contrast to that played by Florian Mitrea the night before, proved to be rather more hard won. Eduard's conception was at once anxious and urgent in his telling staccato attack across, at first, a relatively narrow dynamic range, making much of the internal workings, before broadening the tonal palette to achieve a suitable grandness of gesture. Brahms' Intermezzo in A was given as an encore, tasteful and refined to the last.
Photo credit: Sabrina Scheffer