IN the second half of Peter Evans's recital at Glasgow University, what was a fascinating concert turned into a gripping drama. He had just played the first two of Haflidi Hallgrimsson's three pieces that comprise the composer's Homage to Mondrian, the first featuring a beautiful, oscillating chordal figure, the second a mood picture like camera moving slowly across the surface of the Still Life of the title.
Then he started the third: Victory Boogie-Woogie. The repetitive bass, more like a classical ostinato figure than an orthodox boogie bass line, rumbled away, subdued. Equally subdued, the right hand punched in syncopated chords as punctuation. Gradually, tension and volume began to build, giving the thing the muscle and drive of Bartok. Following a perfect arc, it rose dynaically until the nerves of music and listener were completely wound up by this creature which drove forward with the remorseless impact of a piledriver. An immaculately-crafted study in dramatic tension, played with power and control.
Throughout his recital, which was framed by Scarlatti Sonatas and Liszt's Rigoletto Paraphrase (a glittering performance), Evans championed the piano music of Scottish-based composers. And, Hallgrimsson apart, they were all women, and all of the young generation.
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Helen Grime, the youngest, still at school - and a pupil of Hallgrimsson - shows command of mood and resources in her Five Miniatures, genuine aphorisms that compressed a lot into a tiny space; equally concentrated, though on a bigger canvas, is Audrey Mackie's Slight, four interpretations on the meaning of the title; Amanda Collins's Physical Violence was a predictably percussive study (though its quiet end was impressive). Evans played the lot with his usual insight. An excellent recital.