The Krakow Festival

Saturday, 20 April 1991

Dale Kavanagh played after Sonja, and by contrast hers was a spectacular performance, spirited, impressive, mature and impassioned. She at once put the audience at ease with a definitive rendering of Courante, Ballet and La Volta by Praetorius. (I disagree with Matanya Ophee that because these are dances they should have been taken at a slower pace. This was a guitar recital and not a dance-hall!) Dale’s own arrangement of the Second Movement of the Guitar Concerto by Villa Lobos followed and was even more loudly applauded then the Terpsicore. Next came Lennox Berkeley’s Sonatina, where there was no slackening of the pace and where in the Allegretto she was able to show off with her impressive scale passages, and in the Lento her great variegation of volume and colour. Best of all for me was Miss Kavanagh’s interpretation of the difficult Tres Piezas by Rodrigo which, frankly, I have never heard played better. The opening sforzando chords of the Fandango had such clarity and edge that the audience’s attention wasn’t able to wander. There were gasps when she played so delicately yet brilliantly the triplets in the Passacaglia, and tumultuous applause after she so stunningly played the Zapateado. She ended her programme on a high with Jamie Zenamon’s Introduction y Forreando Caprichoso, a modern and romantic piece where she showed her great mastery of dynamics, articulation, timing and interpretation, always attacking but never over-reaching herself or the limits of her guitar (an Alejandro guitar made in 1989). I was not at all surprised that the audience wanted more then the three encores she gave, She ought now to be considered amongst the very best of concert performers.