Jeffrey Grice : Events : Performances : Reviews : Winter 1994

Winter 94

Wellington's Fifth International Festival of the Arts


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Jeffrey Grice's piano recital on 1 March. This was a splendid display of fiery and imaginative pianism from the Parisian-based New Zealander, He began with Chopin's Third Sonata, Op.58. While his playing of this massive work was not free from the occasional smudge - in particular some slightly mis-judged pedalling - the performance caught and held the attention so strongly that its half-hour duration seemed to pass in a flash. Grice produced real weight of sound without hardness whenever it was required : not at all an easy thing to achieve on the piano. He also displayed a lovely cantabile touch. The melodic lines could truly be said to have sung. He had clearly put a great deal of thought into the way he shaped the music and the over-all effect was compelling.

After the Chopin came a delicate and persuasive reading of Szymanowski's Four Studies Op.4, followed by a virtuoso performance of Scriabin's Fifth Sonata. The latter seemed much impassioned ado about very little, but the energy, bravura and poetry of the playing transcended doubts about the work. Somehow I seem to have missed hearing Jeffrey Grice on his previous visits. If this intelligently planned and imaginatively executed recital is typical of his artistry, I can only regret the lost opportunities and hope he returns again soon.

- Adrienne Simpson in Music in New Zealand
Winter 1994

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