Chamber Fest in Notting Hill

Chamber Fest in Notting Hill
Tchaikovsky Piano Trio A minor op. 50
with Sasha Grynyuk, Yuri Zhislin violin and Alexei Sarkissov cello.
Brahms Zwei Gesange op 91 with Alexia Mankovskaya ,mezzo soprano.
The first in this new series of chamber music at St John’s Notting Hill organised by Sasha Grynyuk and Katya Gorbatiouk with the intent to share a platform with some of London’s finest musicians and outstanding programming of both rare and beloved repertoire.

Alexia Mankovskaya ,mezzo soprano with Sasha Grynyuk and Alexei Sarkissov
I have long admired Sasha’s playing and am pleased to see that now others can too in his festival of Chamber Music in this very fine church on the hill overlooking Portobello Road .

The distinguished audence included John Leech who had translated so poetically the two Brahms songs sung in German.
The first concert was dedicated to Brahms and Tchaikowsky.
It was very fitting that the first words of the Zwei Gesange op 91 should be “Bathed in the golden light of evening…….”
On this balmy night it was the throbbing passionate sounds of the cello that heralded the entry of Alexia Mankovskaya with her requited longing so beautifully expressed.
A voice that was passionately sustained by the piano of Sasha Grynyuk and the cello of Alexei Sarkissov.
Listening attently to each other but with the right abandon that only friends can risk together in their music making.
The piano lid fully open but never did it overpower his colleagues due to the sensitivity with which they were all listening to each other.
There was a gentle lilt from the piano in the second song that set this seal on this gentle Religious Lullaby:”Joseph,dear Joseph mine,help me to rock my lovely baby God will repay you……….Angels that are borne upon the wind – still the tree tops -my Child is asleep”…..such beautiful words enrshrined in the sublime music of Brahms.
The baby may have been asleep but he certainly would have woken up with the work that followed!
Tchaikowsky’s Piano Trio in A minor op 50 took centre stage.
A heroic perf0rmance full of passionate melodies and pyrotechnics in the only Trio that Tchaikowsky wrote maybe persuaded by the success of his second piano concerto op 44 where the slow movement is a communion between trio and orchestra.

Yuri Zhislin Sasha Grynyuk Alexei Sarkissov
He had certainly written in 1880 to his benefactress Nadezhda von Meck saying:”You ask why I have never written a trio.Forgive me,dear friend,I would do anything to give you pleasure ,but this is beyond me…..I simply cannot endure the combination of piano with violin or cello.”
The Trio was sent to his publishers on 11th february 1882!
It is a Trio that has become one of then most important in the repertoire.
It was given a virtuoso performance with three virtuosi in a continual question and answer from the opening Romantic declaration to the dissolving end of the first movement.
The theme and variations showing off every possible combination between the instruments.
From the pizzicato strings to the music box sounds of the piano.
Washes of sound from the virtuosistic runs on the piano answered by the romantic ruminations of the cello and violin in unison.
An intricate fugato and even a Mazurka variation with a short piano cadenza.
Superbly played by all three in a generous give and take of mutual anticpation that is the sign of true chamber music making.
An hour of music followed by a buffet was an ideal formula.
At last a programme  with all the information that one could need to know the performers and understand the background to the works they are performing.
The next concert in the series with a piano recital by Evelyne Berezovsky on the 5th July.

Sasha Grynyuk Noretta Conci Leech Pilar Fernandez Katya Gorbatiouk

St John’s Church – Lansdowne Crescent – Notting Hill


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