Just over a year ago, a young pianist from Slovenia became the first winner of the Manchester International Concerto Competition for Young Pianists-which was supported by the M.E.N.- with a polished and commanding performance of Beethoven’s third concerto. The competition, the brainchild of Chetham’s piano supremo Murray McLachlan, was held at Manchester Cathedral.
Now Anja German’s CD of solo piano works-forming part of her prize-reveals more of a performer of exciting gifts. True, her Haydn sonata is correct to the point of pedestrian, but her Schubert playing reveals (in the final movement) both youthful fire and poetry, and her Chopin playing is simply wonderful.
There is passion and bravura a-plenty here, as well as tenderness and sweetness, and she brings the showpiece second scherzo to a thrilling conclusion that makes you want to stand up and cheer. A great debut recording.