University of Virginia Library

Alicia deLarrocha Exhibits
Brilliant Mind In Concert

By Roy Bonavita

Pianist Alicia deLarrocha took
New York City by storm last year
and her recording company quickly
issued several of her readings of
Spanish music and a remarkable
album devoted exclusively to the
music of Soler. It is easy to understand
why she has astonished well
versed publics here and abroad.

Two Sonatas of Soler were the
opening selections and it is quite
clear that Miss deLarrocha does not
feel, as do some very prominent
pianists, the need to make
eighteenth century composers of
the sonata form seem introspective
- thereby tinkering with tempo -
but rather gives a brisk and firm
interpretation to their works. Not
only is this approach pleasing, it is

The "Humoreske" of Schumann,
a particularly difficult piece,
provided Miss deLarrocha with the
opportunity to show her technique
as well as exercise her brilliant
mind. The technical ability of concert
pianists is generally taken for
granted. What is a challenge, and
one which is eagerly sought in
concert pianists, is to see a performer,
like Miss deLarrocha, in
complete control of the most minute
phrasing and coloration within
variations and from one variation to
another. In her case it worked
perfectly, absolutely, brilliantly;
this is a great mind at work and
places Miss deLarrocha among a
very select group of concert pianists

A Barcarolle, two Mazurakas
and a Ballade of Chopin, always a
composer to be seriously dealt with
by pianists, proved yet again that
this composer is open to new and
exciting approaches. The firmness
of Miss deLarrocha's approach,
again not toying with the keys and
yet achieving remarkable subtleties,
reminds one of the abilities of
Annie Fisher and at the same time
much of the masterful, now legendary,
control of Horowitz. The two
Chopin Mazurakas were clear
examples of the near proximity of
Miss deLarrocha to the Lisztian
style of playing.

Arriving a day early Miss deLarrocha
had ample time to absorb
some of the atmosphere of the
University community and she indicated
in conversation that her audience
here was among the best ever.
Miss deLarrocha also said that she is
never satisfied with a performance;
consequently her response to the
challenge of piano music will insure
her of continued success in the
concert field.