Dinara Klinton at St Mary`s Perivale
The opening of the Beethoven Sonata op 101 summed up just what is so special about Dinara Klinton. The absolute perfect legato combined to a perfect tonal control allowed this sonata to enter like the slow arrival from afar of a distant friend .
Again I must say that this legato is born from a childhood training that through hours of disciplined training her fingers have developed a strength and flexibility that seem to cling to the keys like limpets very much in the same way that an organist must in order to maintain a legato where the sustaining pedal does not exist .
The dotted rhythms in the second movement were played with an incisive sense of inevitability and the rock steady momentum was very assured indeed.
Again most notable the supreme legato in the adagio but even more remarkable was the fugue subject played so quietly but with the treacherous trills so perfectly performed that it almost defied belief.
Obviously this is the backbone in her repertoire and showed a real musical understanding of the dual character that is so much part of Beethoven passing from his middle period to the barbaric sublimity of his final works.
This sonata op 101 is similar in the pastoral almost improvisatory searching mood of op.109 the first of the last great trilogy of sonatas for piano and it was just this that she captured so well.
Not being a great advocate of Medtner I was happy to hear for the first time his Sonata Romantica op 53 n.1 .
It only confirmed what I had already surmised in many of his other works.
Although the technical mastery of colour and the understanding of the capabilities of the piano are very similar to that of Scriabin and Rachmaninov for me he seems to lack their melodic inspiration which makes their works so much more memorable for me.
Rachmaninov without the tunes I like to quip when asked who is Medtner as I often am . Horowitz was a great admirer of Medtner but very rarely brought his works onto the concert platform.
Dinara through having to prepare some of his works for a festival in Moscow organised by her former teacher Dina Parakhina is beginning to appreciate this very particular sound world.
Certainly her transcendental performance full of the most astonishing technical feats of colour and agility must have required some quite considerable preparation.
A rather jaunty last movement in a style reminiscent of the dotted rhythms that Schumann could be so fond of was played with a real command of the keyboard .
On the other hand her encore of the Pas de Deux from Pletnev’s transcription of the Tchaikowsky Nutcracker Suite showed just what a difference a good tune could make in great traditional Russian hands.
Wonderful sense of balance from Dinara where the melodic line was allowed to soar above all the whirlwind of sounds that were created over the whole range of the keyboard in a transcendental display of piano playing .
Maybe not a fair comparison but I am sure that if you asked any of the delighted audience to sing the sumptuous melody they had just heard there would be no difficulty at all I just doubt that they could so the same for the twenty four minute work that preceded it!
Hats off to Dinara for preparing such a difficult work whilst she tells me she is changing houses!
The Bach- Busoni great organ Prelude and Fugue in D which opened this packed out Sunday afternoon concert whilst played with all the colour and shaping that is always a hallmark of this very fine musician I found it lacked that obsessive frenzy of a true believer such as Emil Gilels. In her attempt to show all the varied strands perfectly shaped and stylishly played it lacked that rugged hypnotic rhythmic energy that was later also the hallmark of that other great believer Messiaen.
The Chopin Funeral March Sonata that closed the first half of this most enjoyable recital on the hottest day of the year was given the stylish performance of a true Chopin player. The first movement although tightly held together there was just enough freedom to allow the music to breathe in a natural way. The incisive rhythm of the the scherzo was played with great authority and led to a moving account of the great Funeral March.
Such a wind that passed over the grave in the last movement brought a shiver to the audience, rapt in attention of this much admired Chopin player.