It was an enchanting evening. Ivana Gavrić was very likeable, and so was her music. Throughout the evening she kept the audience’s attention focused but at the same time made us at ease. It seemed that Ivana naturally possessed the certain essential attributes for this: her beautiful quality of sound; her insights into every piece and composer; her ability to showcase her musical commitment, thoughts, feelings and high artistic integrity. You often hear critics talk about a “lack of communication” between the performer and the audience. Well, in Ivana’s recital, we clearly felt the connection; we were all eager to receive what she offered. In fact, this was a perfect example of an excellent concert where everyone looked forward to what was to come next - the next phrase, chord, and note to be unfolded. When there were repeats, I was grateful to hear them again.
With Haydn’s Sonata, the clarity and lightness of her touch was notable. Grieg’s Norwegian peasant dances Slatter made a fantastic contrast to the Haydn, with the unique harmonies and distinctive rhythms, all stylishly played. Ivana’s tone was descriptive, breathing out its rustic and nationalistic feel.
The dance theme continued onto the Polish traditional Mazurkas by Chopin. Through the four mazurkas, Op. 24, Ivana conveyed beautiful human emotions and physical motions, with her transparent and expressive tone voicing the melodies in such an effective manner. Before the last note of the last mazurka had faded away, Ivana went straight into Scherzo No.2. What a dramatic expedition. We saw a different side of Ivana with this piece – the raw energy, masculinity and boldness.
Surprisingly, Schumann’s masterwork Kreisleriana had not been performed before at Breinton. It was an intensive second half, as Ivana unrolled the jam-packed emotions – from a delusional, tormented and chaotic state of mind to angelic calmness. Here again, she demonstrated her best qualities I mentioned above, and the intensive half an hour felt like it flashed past.