17th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival- The Shoe Factory Nicosia

Vitaly Pisarenko at the Shoe Factory 17th International Pharos Festival
17th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival. Vitaly Pisarenko at the Shoe Factory Nicosia
“Electrifying” were Yvonne Georgiadou‘s words ,the Artistic director, as an elated Garo Keheyan Founder and President repeated on Vitalys second visit to this remarkable cultural centre.
A real oasis with a sold out recital in the presence of the former President of Cyprus and many important personalities including the British High Commissioner all applauding this extraordinary recital at the opening of the festival that includes such artists as Kholodenko,Babayan and Sudbin
A long and difficult programme followed in complete silence by a sold out hall mesmerised by the great transcendental artistry of this modest young man:
Schubert Drei Klavierstucke D.946
Schumann Fantasiestucke op 12
Liszt two Ballades S 170 and 171
and two Hungarian Rhapsodies n.10 and 13 the least respectable side of Liszt as Charles Rosen very aptly described them.
The very complex Schubert so difficult to play convincingly such is the mutitude of ideas and seemless melodic outpouring .
Great concentration is required where every note is so pregnant with meaning that he who manages this high wire act without falling off can treat the listener to an unforgettable experience.
It requires a great range of colours from what can often be in the wrong hands a monochrome experience.
Vitaly held the audience in his hands from the very first whispered energetic recurring motif transformed into the most sublime episodes from the pen of one of the greatest poets of the piano.
Even greater poetry than the lieder where it is always the music that has the last word where even the greatest poets cannot quite reach with words alone.
The second Klavierstucke played with a disarming simplicity and sensual sense of colour. One could almost sense the perfume created in this rarified air transformed in the third piece into a frenzied excitement played with the passionate involvement of someone who is a true master.
The sheer beauty of sound in Des Abends that opens Schumanns Fantasiestucke showed what a master of balance this pianist is .
The delicately heart rending shaping of the melodic line only possible if the accompaniment is played at a seemingly impossible pianissimo but with a bass that sustains and opens up the magical sounds that are there for the real poet.
Rubinstein often used to hold us in his magic hands just as we were treated to tonight.
In der Nacht and Traumes Wirren played with such command that allowed the audience to be swept along on this mutifaceted journey .
The coda of the last piece,Ende vom Lied, played after an almost unbearable silence which allowed the disintigration of the melodic line to dissappear as it had appeared as if from afar almost thirty minutes earlier.
What a journey greeted with great enthusiasm by the former President of Cyprus .
A man of great culture who likened this recital to a Sokolov or Trifonov and was anxious to find out about Vitalys CD ‘s to add to his collection.
He was very surprised to learn that there are as yet no CD’s of this remarkably modest young pianist top prize winner at Utrecht and Leeds.
Fast making a name for himself amongst his colleagues and connoisseurs of real artistry.
Hats off to the Keyboard Charitable Trust and to the remarkable Garo and Yvonne at the cultural centre that is the Shoe Factory for recognising such talent before the world becomes his oyster.
The second half dedicated to Liszt.
Not the usual barnstorming that we are too often subjected to but the intelligent man’s Liszt of an Arrau or Agosti.
The rarely if ever heard first ballade under the title of “Le chant du croise'” with a set of variations on the crusader’s song with such pianistic feats thrown of with such ease and charm .
The second Ballade a real tone poem in which the chromatic scales of the left hand built up to a tremendous crescendo but by a subtle sense of real musicianship was never allowed to overshadow the main line that was maintained throughout the most technically difficult passages that abound.
The disarming understatement of the main theme that seemed almost as though it was being overheard was then treated to the most diabolic transformations of really quite breathtaking proportions such was the transcendental virtuosity put to the service of this great story that Liszt recounts in this remarkable piece.
Disappearing as it had begun this performance alone could be singled out as the highpoint in what was a remarkable recital.
Only in the studio of Guido Agosti at the Chigiana in Siena have I heard such a Liszt of such subtle intelligent musicianship allied to a complete technical command that did not allow for any rhetorical showmanship but interpreted what Liszt had actually written and intended.
His edition ,after all, of Beethoven Sonatas as his transcriptions of the Symphonies shows exactly his care and attention to the composers wishes that are all too rarely applied by other barnstorming pianists to his own works.
The two Hungarian Rhapsodies amongst the least known were thrown of with all the charm and ease that the showman Liszt used to woo his doting audiences with and that made him the pop star idol that he was to despise in later life when he chose to show the world the profetically innovative composer that he was with his genius seeing far into the direction music would take in the future.
The glissandi in the 10th Rhapsody played with an ease and charm as the enormous but never harsh sonorities in the left hand of the 13th were overpowering and led to a standing ovation from this very discerning audience.
A single encore of the little Melodie by Rachmaninov full of nostalgia and such delicate sumptuous sonorities it was the ideal way to close nearly two hours of remarkable musicianship from a master craftsman .

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