Saturday, August 24

Pavel Kolesnikov (piano)

- February 3, 2019

The lulling sweetness of Brahms’s E flat major Intermezzo (Op. 117 No.1) brought immediate calm and focus to the start of this charmingly impertinent programme. Without a break and in the same key, Beethoven’s Op. 7 Große Sonata followed. In a masterly performance of great authority, Kolesnikov rising as much as 3″ from the piano stool at moments of emphasis, it was in the quietest sections that his skill was sublime.

The concert’s second half was framed by equally fine interpretations of Brahms’ Intermezzos (Op. 117 No2 and No3), which were intriguingly separated by works of Louis Couperin (died 1661) and Tchaikovsky. Kolesnikov’s delicate working of the baroque Couperin was exquisite but very unexpected. Furthermore, programming Tchaikovsky with Brahms, composers who happily drank together but notoriously panned each other’s work, was a cheeky challenge – which was better? I love them both but it takes a virtuoso of Kolesnikov’s stature to include them successfully within a single programme.

Dome Concert Hall,
2 February 2019
Rating: ★★★★★
Andrew Connal

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