Tanya Anisimova

A Thoughtful And Powerful Cello Recital At Strathmore

Tanya Anisimova, a gifted cellist from the former Soviet Union now living in the United States, has mostly plied her art in academic conservatories. In those nurturing confines, a refined musical intelligence and commanding technique has taken shape. On Thursday evening at the Mansion at Strathmore, the artist showed she deserves far more attention among wider audiences, giving an energizing and alluring recital.

The performance was exhilarating in the way that Anisimova's interpretations were invariably full of personality and character - - whether in the spectral harmonies of Cesar Franck, the lush themes of Rachmaninoff, or her own music that marries a sense of wild fancy and studied control. There was an intimate, soliloquy- like feel to Rachmaninoff's Sonata in G Minor. Her own "Icelandic Ballad" could have done without the gentle howls in the last measures, as the nicely crafted theme-and-variations already had a haunting, ancient sound without Anisimova's vocals.

The recital was alluring in the sheer loveliness of the sounds Anisimova struck up as she partnered wonderfully with pianist Lydia Frumkin, who always played warmly and sensitively. Anisimova's melancholic, honey-touched tone blossomed in the skillful cello rearrangement of Franck's Violin and Piano Sonata in A. The Rachmaninoff was pure poetry in the way it toggled among scampering rhythms, biting vehemence and graceful tenderness.

Listening to this exceptional musicmaking, one wondered whether Anisimova is the Simone Dinnerstein of the cello. Like the American pianist who recently gained fame for her highly idiomatic recording on the Telarc label of Bach's "Goldberg Variations," Anisimova emerges as a highly focused artist with lots of ideas and the dexterity to back them up.

Daniel Ginsberg

The Washington Post October 6, 2007

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