Achucarro demonstrated the lightness of his fast passagework in the Beethoven Op 34 Variations that opened the programme. He is a well-schooled artist in both the best and the worst sense: accurate, concentrated, conscientiously varied in his pedalling, but tense and rhythmically uninstinctive, a bit ironed-out. The lack of depth in his tone reflects his chosen style: he unfurls the music with heraldic formality rather than plunging in. His slow playing on Monday was often over-slow and brittle.
Brahms's Four Pieces Op 119 started with a melting, soft- grained, almost over-grateful reading of the dissonant first Intermezzo, and built to a stocky, powerful Rhapsody.Reuse content