Music Reviews : Violinist Maria Bachmann in Pro Musicis Recital

Maria Bachmann is yet another of the current bumper crop of rapidly maturing young violin wonders. She has the typical poise and technical assurance, applied to an oddly sorted program Thursday at the County Museum of Art, and the clear beginnings of a distinctive musical personality.

For one thing, Bachmann pays more than lip service to the music of our time. The agenda for her Pro Musicis-sponsored recital was much altered from what was originally announced, but it still boasted the local premiere of Leon Kirchner’s “For Solo Violin II.”

The moody noodling is couched in a syntax of paradoxically stark lyricism, set on a compact and comprehendable frame. Bachmann gave it the benefit of burnished sounds and sober, purposeful declamation.

She brought similar virtues to the Chaconne from Bach’s Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, allowing it the full glory of monumentality in an absorbed and absorbing performance of utmost strength and seriousness.


Bachmann’s centerpiece was Franck’s unduly overworked Sonata in A. There she proved equally direct and clear, and commandingly passionate, though somewhat limited in dynamic range.

Pianist Jon Klibonoff supported her with sensitive power and grace. He brought fleet, pointed articulation to the first movement of Mozart’s Violin Concerto in A, K. 219, Bachmann’s opener, where she sounded blunt and inclined to rush.

The recital ended with two salon standards, Tchaikovsky’s Waltz-Scherzo and Wieniawski’s Polonaise Brillante in A, tossed off with confident brio. Bachmann is a musician who takes chances, producing the occasional scratch or buzz, but the payoff is music making that always holds the ear.