‘Genius’ homage proves masterful

11.11.07
Anne-Marie McDermott
Columbus Dispatch

Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott who, I believe, played with ProMusica once long ago, was featured soloist in the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor. Her playing amounted to a rare combination of formidable technical prowess and sophisticated phrasing. She gave direction to every line, building a sense of urgency with mounting dynamics and tension when phrases repeated toward a climax. 

She gave fire to the volatile dramas that comprise the first movement and the middle section of the second but paused to smell the roses in the section theme of the Romanza. And she played the finale at a ferocious tempo - while still imbuing her fingering with minutely changing weights so that each phrase, each section of each phrase - each note - held your interest. 

The movement of Bach's second English Suite, an encore, was played with the same intensity and insight. McDermott seems a consummate artist at the top of her game, and is easily one of the finest pianists heard here this year.