The young and talented pianist, Fionnuala Moynihan, came onstage for her Coffee Concert at Christ Church Cathedral, in a short-sleeved long summer dress and launched into a forty minute Schubert Sonata in B Flat major, with vigour.
Initially, I thought her selection of a late Schubert piano sonata, a poor choice for a morning concert, but her attack surprised me and she was no way in awe of the sombre dirge-like aspects of work composed in his depressed/syphilitic final years.
The opening movement had the clatter and rolls of thunder and she attacked the keyboard with such passion and vigour. Yet, she kept her eyes closed, as if in a reverie of anger. The Andante Sostenuto was dirge-like and sombre, but the third movement, a Scherzo Vivace Con Delicatezza, was excellent and spring-like.
The finale, Allegro, was a joy and the closing Presto had the melodramatic style of the movies, with the heroine tied to the tracks and the piano like train pounding along.
Moynihan’s closing choice seemed like an encore after the big Schubert sound. I loved her choice of an early Bach sequence of dances, Aria Variata in A minor, that had the virtuoso technique and showy bravura of a young musician at the edge of a glittering career riffing with style on work that was overshadowed by the Goldman Variations.