The repertoire suits Bengtsson. The Brahms F Major Sonata that opens the program is a glorious late German Romantic work with a lush and lyrical Adagio affettuoso and an ardent and wistful Allegro appassionato. The Debussy D Minor Sonata that follows is a gorgeous French Impressionist work with a melancholy Prologue, a mysterious Serenade, and a brilliantly colored Finale. The last item before the intermission is Danish composer Herman Koppel's Ternio, a modernist work in three severe but deeply expressive movements dedicated to Bengtsson. After the intermission, Bengtsson and Kavtaradze will return with Chopin's grandly Romantic Sonata in G Minor, a work whose intimately lyrical cello melodies and intensely passionate piano accompaniment might have been tailor made for them.
If you must miss Bengtsson and Kavtaradze on November 21—and don't mind a quick flight or drive to Washington, D.C. — they'll be performing the same program on November 23 at Washington's National Gallery.
[Originally published in November, 2003.]