sara daneshpour

Sara Daneshpour review: Taking flight

Rising Star pianist soars in Portland Piano International recital

by JEFF WINSLOW

Pianist Sara Daneshpour is young, and speaks softly, almost shyly. But her hands flash across the keyboard like lightning and unleash heavenly thunder.

As her November 5 recital at Portland Piano Company, part of Portland Piano International’s Rising Stars series, got underway with two mild-mannered selections from French Baroque composer and seminal tonal theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Suite in A Minor, there was no hint of such godly powers. But she was definitely in command: melodies and harmonies were clear, phrases were elegantly shaped, and layered voices were distinct.

Sara Daneshpour performed at Portland Piano International. Photo: Richard Brase.

Even in Maurice Ravel’s atmospheric virtuoso test piece, “Ondine,” which begins and ends with the most delicately piquant resonances, there were only a few rattling rumbles. The various elements were mostly clearly audible and well proportioned as in the Rameau, despite the flurry of fast fingerwork. Only a few unfocused moments and the fact this work is almost always performed as part of a set of three hinted that it may still be in development as a piece of Daneshpour’s repertory. Even so, with a little help from Ravel at the top of his game, it was easy to be uplifted to some magical land by her artistry.

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