Waiting for Evie!

Waiting for Evie! Evelyne Berezovsky at St John’s
Our fabulous,wonderful Evie……….
…………..a kiss from the child Jesus that was to cherish for a lifetime……
……………a passionately commited Rachmaninov……..
………and charmed to death by Grieg and Tchaikowsky….
It takes one to recognise one,so they say, and our thanks go to Sasha Grynyuk for inviting Evie to thrill and move us as she did today in his new series in St Johns Notting Hill.
Caught in the lunchtime traffic we awaited her arrival knowing full well of the chaos in the centre of London in this holiday period.

Sasha and Evie greeting each other
Only ten minutes late she arrived looking ever more like a film star and greeted her friends and admirers that had gathered to hear her.
Without any more ado she sat at the piano …………..and it was pure magic.
She was completely lost in her own world. So totally transported by the music that she did not even notice the rather invasive lady in the first row trying to share a 360° video to her mother I presume in Russia!
From the very first note we were transported into a magic world of such ravishing sounds and such an overpowering sense of communication where each note of the little Arietta op 12 by Grieg was expressed with  extraordinary beauty and musical sense.
It was as though the music was speaking directly to every single member of the audience.
The only other person who can do that is Martha Argerich, who with her seemingly anticonventional lifestyle and individual personality plays the piano or rather communicates via the piano her genuine uncontaminated vision of music and life which for her are one and the same.Following her heart and instinct rather than wearing her musicality like a badge.It is the innocence of a child but with the wisdom of someone who has weaved her way since childhood through the jungle of public performance and never conceded anything of her inner musical beliefs to the superficial world that surrounds her.
Anyone who knows Evie will know that this description fits her too like a glove.
She also has the ravishing good looks that Martha had at her age.Che non guasta ,as they say!
Needless to say that the three Rachmaninov preludes were played with such a sumptuous kaleidocope of sounds from the almost inaudible to the most passionate outbursts.
She made this little Yamaha piano sound like the most beautiful piano on earth such was her total concentration on the sounds that she was creating for us.
The E flat major op 23 n.6 drifted in like water on which floated the most romantic of melodies .The full sonorous melodic line of the D major n. 4 where the embellishments caressed the melody in a seemless stream of velvet sounds.The beautiful liquid cantabile of the G major op 32 n.5 where the delicacy of the left hand accompaniment only added to the golden sheen that she was able to bring to this most nostalgic of melodies.
Hardly suprising that her Rachmaninov is so definitive and idiomatic as she is the daughter of Boris Beresovsky and was born in 1991 the very year he won the Gold Medal at the Tchaikowsky competition in Moscow !
The Sonata n.2 op 36 by Rachmaninov burst out of this luxuriant “hors d’oevre” like a sudden call to arms.
What passion,what subtle unbearably beautiful sounds.But above all a transcendental control and command of the keyboard that allowed her to listen so attentively hardly glancing at her hands that were only the means of expressing what she was searching for.
This was undoubtedly one of the finest performances I have heard of this work .We all know the famous Carnegie Hall recording of Horowitz but this had the same powerful sense of immediacy and demonic changes that brought this work back into the piano repertoire.
But rarely can a performance by a “normal” pianist have been so powerful as today … with the exception maybe of only Van Cliburn!
Aided and abetted by her great friend Sasha Grynyuk the programme announced : Messiaen “Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jesus”.
What we  were actually treated too was the most beautiful of the 20 regards:”Le Baiser de l’enfant Jesus.”
And what a kiss this was .

Evie and Sasha in place of the music stand Sasha held the score that she hardly glanced at!
The most extraordinary sounds of these tingling grating
dissonant harmonies that in her hands were played so subtly that it was of a heartbreaking beauty that I have rarely experienced.
The music spoke so magically that the message from this true believer came across and touched every heart in the audience judging by the tears that were visible on many of their eyes.
Mesmerised by the sounds.
The almost chiselled embellishments accompanying the sumptuous final melodic outburst expressing sounds that I have never heard before.
It was quite overwhelmingly moving.
I have only heard Rubinstein playing ten of the “Visions Fugitives” by Prokofiev or “A prol do Bebe” by Villa Lobos who was able to make the music speak as Evie did with Messiaen today.
Joan Chisell said in her review about “The Prince of Pianists” that I love to quote:”Mr Rubinstein turned baubles into gems.”
I would not say that Messiaen was a bauble but up until today I had not realised how poignantly he could help us to experience his own mystical belief.

with Alex Ullman
A little piece by Tchaikowsky “Au village” was full of old world charm and scintillating almost ‘jeux perle’ playing.
A truly magic fairground of a bygone age.
A little mazurka by Chopin played equisitely as an encore.
A wonderful sense of dance but such bewitching colours.
She shouted out to her old school friend from the Purcell School Alexander Ullman to ask if he knew what opus number it was.
It was of no importance what number it was ………..it was an absolute gem and that is all that counted today.
Such insistent applause brought her back to play the Rachmaninov Prelude in E flat again ….as Sasha said afterwards even more beautifully than before.
I go to a lot of concerts and listen to many remarkable pianists but this is one that will remain with me for a long time.
Thats our Evie ……….Welcome back .

Covered in flowers and gifts after her performance

A well earned cigarette with olf school friend Alex

And a selfie all together

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