Orpheus in the afterworld

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 22, 2008

Tomsic shaped her entire Jordan Hall concert beautifully. She began and ended in calm wisdom, moving from Mozart’s poignantly resigned late single-movement Andante in B minor to her inevitable, and ineffable, final encore of Aleksandr Siloti’s arrangement of Bach’s first prelude. In between came drama, struggle, passion: Prokofiev’s “tempestuous” Sonata No. 3 and five dark Macedonian Dances by Alojz Srebotnjak (Tomsic’s husband). There were three searching Brahms Intermezzi (including the heavenly A-major, which seems a companion to Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem) and a heroic Rhapsody, and that staggering, heartstopping Appassionata (which makes me think of Shelley’s turbulent West Wind and its maelstrom of leaves “like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing”). Audible gasps preceded the cheering.

More Scarlatti led off the encores, among them the zippy Villa-Lobos Policinelle, which ended hilariously with double glissandos in opposite directions. Tomsic’s last Boston recital was four years ago. We can’t afford to be without her this long.

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