The intimacy of Auckland Museum's auditorium must have appealed to Javier Perianes, introducing his Fazioli recital as more of a family concert.

His choice of Schubert for the first half was a welcoming one.

A short Allegretto, balancing melancholy minor with radiant major, elegantly introduced the Three Piano Pieces, written in the final year of Schubert's lamentably short life.

These deal in emotional quicksilver as they veer from unaffected lyricism to the stoic, suppressed anger of rough-hewn chords. The pianist's unerring sense of line and shading caught every passing mood, through to the syncopated tensions of the final piece.


After interval, Perianes traced links between the music of Debussy and his own countryman, Manuel de Falla.

The centrepiece was four Debussy preludes, revealing an exceptionally languid flaxen-haired girl and, in the fourth unannounced piece, hints of flamenco in the strumming and plucking of minstrel banjos.

Of the three Falla pieces, the 1919 Fantasia Baetica proved a triumph for both pianist and composer. A century ago, the work's dedicatee, Arthur Rubinstein, worried that it had "a glissando or two too many". There were no such concerns on Saturday as Perianes almost scorched the ivories sweeping back and forth, making one wonder whether a gypsy guitar had been spirited into the piano case.

An enthusiastically received encore of the composer's Ritual Fire Dance seemed inevitable.

What: Javier Perianes
Where: Auckland Museum
When: Saturday