Alexei Grynyuk (piano)
A gentle Chorale by Mendelssohn began this recital which was followed by ever more elaborate variations. By No.9 the speed and complexity were fearsome; there was an ease in the tension at No.14 Adagio, after which it got faster and more brilliant until No.17, the final Presto. Mendelssohn may have called them his serious variations but Grynyuk made them thrilling.
Schubert’s Four Impromptus Op.90 are just as virtuosic. From Grynyuk’s hands those lovely themes seemed to sing. A Schubert song followed, ‘Litanie for All Souls’ Day’, a sombre, strophic lied that Liszt then developed into an impressive piano transcription. The Steinway was singing now! It flowed smoothly into the Ninth Hungarian Rhapsody, Liszt’s evocation of the Hungarian Carnival in Pest. This was astonishing, dazzling virtuosity.
No doubt these are stressful times for any British-Ukrainian pianist and perhaps this was channelled into Alexei Grynyuk’s performance, but if so the passion was entirely to the benefit of the music. He appeared abashed by all the applause but we were celebrating a masterly performance.
Dome Concert Hall,
19 May 2022