Monday, November 22, 2021
Wigmore Hall, London
Johan Dalene is going places. He records for Bis and appears with top-dollar conductors. This Wigmore lunchtime recital opened with Ravel’s (second) Sonata – the composer couldn’t have suspected that an early effort of his would be resurrected, posthumously. Over its successor’s three movements Dalene spun a continuous line, relished bluesy jazz, and kept-up energy levels in the perpetuum mobile Finale, bowing and fingering immaculate, Nicola Eimer very much his equal, partnering faithfully yet individual. In Rautavaara’s Notturno e danza, the duo caught well the light-reflection of the first part and then the activity of the second. Finally, Prokofiev’s Sonata No.2 (Opus 94bis, originally for flute, arranged for violin at David Oistrakh’s request). It’s music of charm and high spirits, a fund of memorable invention and storytelling/character-drawing capability, which Dalene and Eimer tapped into with expressive richness and music-serving virtuosity, as well as plenty of interactive variety of touch and tone. Encore time: a sensitive account of Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne, a quietly eloquent wind-down.