Evelyne Berezovsky at St Mary’s Turbulence and demons of a great artist.

Tuesday 21 September 3.00 pm

Evelyne Berezovsky (piano) 

I was on my way home from the airport sorry not to have been able to listen this time to Evie’s recital live from St Mary’s.I have heard her many times here and in Italy and have always been totally enraptured by her compelling magnetism and total concentration when she plays .She has that God given gift of living the music a fresh as though on a voyage of discovery.She shares her quite unique spontaneity with her astonishment for the beauty she can conjure out of the keys.’Je joue,je sens,je trasmet’ was the title of an article about Shura Cherkassky in Le Monde de la Musique – Martha Argerich was quoted as describing him as :’The man I love’. He often used to say that young pianists these days do not seem to listen to themselves! Cherkassky and Argerich certainly do or did! Evelyne Beresovsky is one of the few of the younger generation that listens to every note joining them together into a musical conversation of such conviction that can bring even the most popular works vividly back to life. I was surprised to receive a message as soon as I stepped off the plane saying she had not been happy with the recital and not to bother listening to it in play back. Red rag to the bull indeed! Bemused and intrigued I thought I would discreetly take a peek…………and this is what I found……………….

Mozart Piano Sonata in D K576
Allegro / Adagio / Allegretto

The last of Mozart’s 18 Sonatas opened the programme played with a clarity and simplicity,so difficult for many,that had Schnabel exclaim that Mozart was too easy for children and too difficult for adults.Here she allowed the music to speak so naturally with an exhilarating effervescence that gave such character to a work that was enacted before our very eyes as if on stage.There were some very subtle contrasts in dynamics and slight inflections that just brought the notes vividly to life.Such luminosity to the melodic line in the Adagio with some very delicate filigree passages played non legato that contrasted so well with the delicacy of the melodic line.There was sheer ‘joie de vivre’ in the Allegretto that was played with an hypnotic rhythmic energy and passages of such ebullience that could have come straight out of a Mozart Piano Concerto.

Scriabin: Feuillet d’album Op 45 no 1

Scriabin: Poème Op 32 no 1

Scriabin: Piano Sonata no 3 in F sharp minor Op 23
Drammatico / Allegretto / Andante / Presto

The little Feuillet d’Album op 45 by Scriabin was full of ravishing colours and sense of improvisatory wonder as was the Poème op 32 n.1 that followed.Played with less coquettish charm than Horowitz it was played with a sense of line and musical shape that was indeed refreshing. These were just two little ‘tasters’ of Scriabin’s world of the ravishment and torment of his 3rd Sonata as he reaches for that star which is his ultimate goal.The opening movement was imperious and brooding with a constant forward movement contrasted with moments of ravishing introspection and delicacy.The Allegretto was played with great rhythmic impetus with a momentary respite in the ‘con grazia’ soon overtaken by the driving rhythms of the return of the opening.An Andante of sumptuous beauty with the melodic line returning in the tenor register accompanied by magical streams of golden sounds.This led to the menace of the opening theme and furious driving rhythms of the Presto con fuoco before the radiant ecstasy of the star is revealed and its final imperious comments.

played with the score which she hardly glanced at,as opposed to Dr Mather who had his eyes glued onto the complex score with the very ungrateful task of finding the right moment to turn the pages!

Rachmaninov: 4 preludes
Op 23 no 4 in D Op 23 no 6 in E flat major Op 23 no 5 in G minor Op 32 no 5 in G major

There was ravishing beauty in the selection of four preludes by Rachmaninov.And if the sumptuous beauty of the D major was momentarily lost in a moment of panic it was nothing compared to the sheer romantic beauty and subtle flexibility that she brought to the following E flat minor Prelude.The restrained opening of impish good humour of the G minor made its climax even more exciting and the mellifluous middle section even more of a contrast.The ending was thrown of with the consummate ease that only a great artist could ever offer.The ravishing sounds of water in the G major Prelude was just the bed on which jewels were allowed to float with such magic.

Debussy: L’isle joyeuse

Debussy’s L’Isle Joyeuse was played with an alternation of dance and ecstasy.There was great rhythmic energy in the opening with layer upon layer of sound delicately added as a sumptuous melody appears.The dance builds gently ever more frenzied until the final climax of excitement and passion played with aristocratic grandeur until it final bursts into flames.

It may not have been the finest recital she has ever given but her artistry and God given gift of communication transcend any momentary defiance that to a true artist can be so unsettling .I was lucky enough to hear Rubinstein many times in his 15 final years on stage and his was the greatest lesson that could be offered as he would risk all for that magic moment of feeling that the audience was listening to the story you were discovering together.Today when we think we have to know and order everything in advance it is refreshing to live dangerously in the search for utopia. I enjoyed immensely my peek………what the butler saw indeed !

Evelyne Berezovsky was born in Moscow in 1991, the daughter of the eminent pianist Boris Berezovsky. She started playing the piano at the age of five and two years later joined the Purcell School of Music. She then studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Hamish Milne, in Italy with Elisso Virssaladze, and with Rena Shereshevskaya in Paris. She has played in public since she was 7 years old and appeared with the orchestra for the first time at the age of 11. Since then she has performed at major venues in London, including the Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square and the Southbank Centre, and at concert venues in Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Norway, Russia and Japan, including a recital at the prestigious piano festival in La Roque d’Antheron. In February 2012 she won First Prize in the Lagny-sur-Marne International Piano Competition in France. Following this, she has been regularly invited to play on Radio France, including a performance at the Fête de la Musique which took place at the Olympia, Paris. Evelyne has given concerts and recitals in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and the USA, including performances at Lorin Maazel’s Festival in Castelton, VA and Steinway Hall, New York.

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