Francesca dePasquale (violin) Meng-Chieh Liu (piano) National Sawdust
April 6th, 2016
Biology doesn't fully explain dePasquale's admirable programming instincts, opening this recital (which launched her debut recording) with the challenging Chaconne from Bach's Second Partita. She was neither too flashy nor too fast, and her phrasing was immaculate and discreet, inviting the audience to contemplate the past in a cutting-edge, 21st-century room.
DePasquale plays her late father's violin (made in 1968 by Sergio Peresson)...its sound lent richness and a serious air to Schumann's Intermezzo from the F-A-E Sonata and her brilliant finale, Bartók's Rhapsody no. 1. Two high points came in the middle. The first was Messiaen's Thème et Variations, given a heroic reading with delectable intonation. The second was Paola Prestini's virtousic Oceanic Fantasy (violin and electronics), written for dePasquale.