Classical debut (Rating: 6 hearts of 6)

Reviewer Thomas Michelsen, Politiken, Friday March 11, 2005

"Not only did the evening's programme offer weighty and challenging works. They were performed with a remarkable mastery of technical details. A mastery which Toke Møldrup - whose debut concert this was - displayed with musical and expressive confidence, but never recklessly. As a musician he maintains the beauty of the instrument's melodious sound, regardless of the musical landscape in which he finds himself. Two very different solo performances were at the centre of the 24-year-old musician's programme. A solo suite by Bach - notably the most difficult of the six, the last one in D major - and a solo sonata by Per Nørgård. Bach's demands for ascents were easily met by the player. The playingwas pure and buoyant until the last double stop. And then Nørgård, in two wildly different movements in Solo Sonata No. 2, offered Møldrup a chance to shine, with frost clear Nordic moods, expressed in clean intervals, and with a dramatically challenging last movement. In addition to the two solo works, Møldrup was accompanied in Beethoven's last cello sonata and Grieg's Sonata in A minor. Full honours to a musician who - accompanied by the intensely alert Tanja Zapolski at the piano - triumphed in both pieces. The Beethoven sonata made a strong impression with its second movement allowing full expression of pain and the finale with its knotty, steep, sharply defined fugal work.

The Grieg sonata offered a surprise. The Norwegian romantic's generally disliked, extremely broad cello sonata is not often heard, and is rightly criticized for having a finale that goes on and on without adding anything much to what has already been said. Møldrup might as well have chosen for instance one of Brahms' sonatas. Instead he and Tanja Zapolski took on the challenge. With surprising intensity and strength he held our attention in a vice-like grip until the very last note. An achievement in a rather unrewarding work. At the end we were given two luxurious encores from the collection of solo virtuoso pieces for cello. First a tempestuous round of variations on a theme by Paganini, with left hand pizzicato and all sorts of devilry. No need to comment. It was totally convincing. The rare reviewer's six hearts must be awarded, in spite of the fact that this was a debut. Actually, Møldrup is not a complete novice. Among other achievements he has already performed on an extremely successful Beethoven CD with the Paizo Quartet on the Classico label."  

Cellist Toke Møldrup is tomorrow's man  


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