PIANIST Anda Anastasescu was the ideal choice to open the Shadows of Romania Music Festival, organised jointly by the University of Plymouth and the Romanian Cultural Institute.
Not only did she include works by one of her country's leading musicians but, clearly not in the best of health on the day, she still gave her all, with that strength of character that many of her compatriots have also exhibited, in their frequent struggles against adversity.
Rameau's Le Rappel des Oiseaux provided a perfect start where, as in the ensuing Mozart Variations, Anda played with delicacy and neat articulation, matched by sufficient dynamic contrast for the style.
Constantin Silvestri is perhaps best known as a former conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Clearly he was also an accomplished composer, which Anda most ably demonstrated in two of his early piano works, where there was clear empathy between performer and composer.
Schumann's Waldszenen revealed some highly sensitive playing in the slower numbers, while it seemed that Anda had suddenly been revitalised, with her powerful performance of Debussy's virtuoso L'isle Joyeuse.
Anda was clearly concerned by ambient noise, but unfortunately this is unavoidable in a lecture theatre with its functional, rather than concert-dedicated seating.
But the university has no excuse for the prevailing Arctic conditions, which the air conditioning again produced, and which it seems unable to control locally.