What a wonderful surprise in Chinatown today in full celebration for the recent new year ~ the year of the monkey. Here in the centre in what looks like the town hall and is infact the China Exchange where Costanza Principe was giving a lunchtime recital in collaboration with the RAM . Last seen a few days ago in Milan where she was fresh from her Beethoven marathon with our great friend Federico Mondelci ,world famous saxophonist and very fine conductor of the Orchestra Regionale Marchegiana . And here she was on a surprisingly good Boston piano (Steinway) in works by Beethoven ,Janacek abd Schubert. Nice big hall unfortunately not full for an exceptionally musical recital. The rarely heard variations by Beethoven from Das Waldmadchen .Last heard in the hands of Richter forty years ago at the Festival Hall. How right he and now Costanza were to play these beautifully constructed variations .Some beautifully shaped playing never lacking in Beethovens inevitable rhythmic energy. Unjustly neglected Janacek Sonata 1905 .Some really beautifully suggestive sounds and unmistakable musical personality made this a really refreshing and intelligent breath of fresh air between the two works of Beethoven and Schubert. The drei Klavierstucke followed. Conceived as a whole but never missing the nuances and intricate detail in the three long movements. Usually one of the most difficult of Schuberts major works to digest such was the innate musicality and intelligence of Costanza `s subtle piano playing the work seemed much shorter than usual. In fact the hour recital seemed to pass so quickly such was the concentration on purely musical details offered that the enthusiatic audience would have gladly listened to more. No encore offered and we will just have to wait for the next occasion to hear this beautiful young pianist again.