London’s Keyboard Trust and the Arts Club of Washington Present
3pm New York/D.C., 8pm London –livestreamed from St. Mary’s Perivale, London with grateful thanks to Hugh Mather and colleagues.
“An astonishing achievement…a wonderful instinct…her response to the Byronic sweep of Liszt’s imagination enthrals at every point…Klinton can find a complete world in a single quiet chord.” — BBC Music Magazine
Taneyev: Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor Op 29
Lyadov: Prelude in B minor Op 11
Glinka/Balakirev: The Lark
Medtner: 4 Fairytales Op 54
Rachmaninov: Daisies Op 38 no 3
Lilac Op 21 no 5
Elegy Op 3 no1
Stravinsky/Agosti: The Firebird suite
An amazing journey indeed for Dinara Klinton as she took us on a nostalgic journey to her homeland.Some sumptuous sounds and a feeling of aching nostalgia as she looked back to the stories told by Taneyev,Lyadov,Glinka,Medtner,Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.As with all journeys ,especially in this last year,it was not without the unexpected.Streamed live from London to Washington there was a general breakdown of the internet in west London that meant the journey was delayed by a few hours.Thanks to the expert recording facilities at St Mary’s in Perivale,Dr Mather,Roger Nellist and their team had an unexpected change of horses but the carriage arrived safely at its destination.Not aware of these technical problems of streaming Dinara just allowed her heart to stream and stretch out to her audience worldwide with yearning nostalgia.Playing of such ravishing beauty and astonishing technical command that was quite breathtaking as she invited us on to her magic carpet to visit a world much better than the one we had left behind for this all too short journey.
The Prelude and Fugue by Taneyev that opened the programme showed off all the remarkable qualities of Dinara’s artistry.The beautifully expressive Prelude with a magical melodic line over a brooding bass.According to Dinara,in her charming introductory presentation,it is based on a Russian folk melody like the Lyadov that was to follow.Keeping her introduction short, she spiritedly suggested that her playing was much better than her talking,at least she hoped so!There was indeed a clarity to her playing of almost string quartet quality where you could follow so clearly the different layers of sound as they in turn created such sumptuous harmonies.The featherlight scale at the end of the prelude was thrown off with quite ravishing ease.She attacked the fugue with a rhythmic energy and drive that reminded me much of the world of Shostakovich that was still only on the horizon.Quite exhilarating virtuosity and a scintillating ending thrown off with the consummate ease of a true virtuoso.
Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915) was not only a virtuoso pianist but also an outstanding composer of his day.He became known as one of the best performers of his generation and brought some of the greatest piano works to Russian audiences, giving the Russian première of Brahms’ Piano Concerto in D minor. Before that, he gave the Moscow première of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, which the head of the Moscow Conservatory, Nikolai Rubinstein, had declared ‘unplayable.’He entered the Conservatory at age 9, graduating at age 15, having studied composition with Tchaikovsky and piano with Nikolai Rubinstein. After conquering Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, the composer asked him to give the Russian première’s of his Piano Concerto No. 2 and his Piano Trio in A minor and after Tchaikovsky’s death, he also gave the première of his Piano Concerto No. 3.Following Tchaikovsky’s departure from the Moscow Conservatory in 1878, Taneyev started to teach there, remaining until 1905. His students included Scriabin ,Rachmaninov,Glière and Medtner.The 1905 Revolution caused Taneyev to leave the Conservatory and resume his concert and composing career more intensely. His Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor, Op. 29, was the only piano work that he gave an opus number. Written in 1910, the work combines his own long-standing research into early music and, at the same time, is a combination of chromaticism and polyphony that would have been unknown to Bach. The work was written in memory of his nurse, Pelageya Vasil’yevna Chizhova, who had been with the composer his entire life. He put his emotions into the melancholic Prelude and then contrasted it with a fiery Fugue. This work was one of the inspirations for Dmitri Shostakovich’s prelude and fugue compositions
The Lyadov Prelude is a hauntingly beautiful piece played with a sense of balance that allowed the melodic line to shine with a rubato that gave so much shape and meaning to this deeply nostalgic Russian melody.Bringing this short jewel to a sparkling atmospheric ending was the ideal preparation for the better known Lark by Glinka in the famous re visitation of Balakirev.Anatoly Lyadov taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatory from 1878, his pupils included Prokofiev and Myaskovsky.Consistent with his character, he was a variable but at times brilliant instructor.Lyadov’s critical comments were always precise, clear, understandable, constructive, and brief…. Stravinsky remarked that Lyadov was as strict with himself as he was with his pupils, writing with great precision and demanding fine attention to detail. Prokofiev recalled that even the most innocent musical innovations drove the conservative Lyadov crazy. “Shoving his hands in his pockets and rocking in his soft woollen shoes without heels, he would say, ‘I don’t understand why you are studying with me. Go to Richard Strauss . Go to Debussy .’ This was said in a tone that meant ‘Go to the devil!'”
The Lark by Glinka in Balakirev’s arrangement opened with an expressive recitativo commented on with arabesques of shimmering sounds before the sumptuous beauty of this haunting melody by Glinka .Some ravishing cadenzas by Balakirev just added to the magic that was being created especially when the melody returns ornamented with ever more elaborate decoration.The poco meno mosso after a scintillating pianissimo cadenza leads us to the utter simplicity of the melody punctuated by trills and ornaments creating the enchanting atmosphere of Glinka’s beautiful sad melody, The Lark which is the tenth piece from his collection of twelve songs called Farewell to St. Petersburg. Dinara showed us her wonderful sense of colour and style of an era when piano playing was also seduction of the senses long before the percussive element of the piano was to be so prominently promoted by Stravinsky and friends!
I remember being enchanted by this piece when as a schoolboy I first heard it on a piano roll played by Richard Buhlig,a pianist of the great Romantic era of piano playing.These piano rolls had been collecting dust for years before Frank Holland discovered them together with the player pianos which he lovingly restored and eventual put on display at his Piano Museum in Brentford.The BBC got wind of these marvels ,via Sidney Harrison,that included piano playing of an era that had long been forgotten with the unbelievably subtle playing of leggendary virtuosi of the past like Rosenthal,Lhevine,Levitski,Godowsky and Rachmaninov.They were broadcast late at night on the BBC third programme and were programmes that were to ignite the imagination of young aspiring musicians who were later to carry the torch for a virtuosity that was to do more with subtle sound that with speed!
4 Fairy Tales by Medtner . N.1 The birds’ tale was played with such clarity as the bird hopped from branch to branch so vividly depicted in Dinara’s performance that had many similarities to Schumann’s Prophet Bird .N.2 A rhythmic scherzo as the melodic line changed hands in a playful duet full of energy and with a melodic build up only to be interrupted by the scherzo again.N.3 A. Strangely meandering organ grinder – a brooding work leading to the beggar,with a beseechingly beautiful melodic line and a very effective ending of upward disappearing scale movement.
Nikolai Karlovich Medtner 24 December 1879] – 13 November 1951 after a period of comparative obscurity in the twenty-five years immediately after his death, he is now becoming recognized as one of the most significant Russian composers for the piano.A younger contemporary of Rachmaninov and Scriabin he wrote a substantial number of compositions, all of which include the piano. His works include fourteen piano sonatas , three violin sonatas , three piano concerti , a piano quintet, two works for two pianos, many shorter piano pieces, a few shorter works for violin and piano, and 108 songs including two substantial works for vocalise n. His 38 Skazki(generally known as “Fairy Tales” in English but more correctly translated as “Tales”) for piano solo contain some of his most original music.At the outbreak of the Second World War, Medtner’s income from German publishers disappeared, and during this hardship ill-health became an increasing problem. His devoted pupil Edna Iles gave him shelter in Warwickshire where he completed his Third Piano Concerto , first performed in 1944.He died at his home at Golders Green,London in 1951 and is buried alongside his brother Emil in Hendon Cemetery.
Beautiful luminous sounds in Daisy and Lilacs played with ravishing beauty and delicacy.The Elegy was achingly beautiful with a melody full of expressive longing and melancholy played with an aristocratic nobility.There was a magical central section with a tenor melody accompanied by delicate arabesques leading to a passionate outpouring of sumptuous sounds.
The piano transcription of three movements from The Firebird by Stravinsky was written by Guido Agosti in 1928 and dedicated to the memory of his teacher Busoni.A fascinating work that immediately demonstrated the astonishing brilliance and rhythmic energy of Dinara in the Danse Infernale.There was a sudden burst of melody amidst the cascades of notes with clouds of sounds played with a ravishing sense of colour.There was a magnificent sense of balance and legato playing as the sun suddenly appeared in the finale with a radiance that was breathtaking as it gradually began to shine brighter and brighter.A tour de force of transcendental piano playing but also of musical intelligence and understanding.
Guido Agosti (11 August 1901 – 2 June 1989) was an Italian pianist and piano teacher.He was born in Forlì in 1901 and studied piano with Ferruccio Busoni,Bruno Mugellini, and Filippo Ivaldi,graduating at the age 13. He studied counterpoint under Benvenuti and literature at Bologna University starting his professional career as a pianist in 1921. Although he never entirely abandoned concert-giving, nerves made it difficult for him to appear on stage,and he concentrated on teaching. He taught piano at the Venice Conservatoire and at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome . In 1947 he was appointed Professor of piano at the Accademia Chigiana Siena on the express wish of Alfredo Casella .He also taught at Weimar and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
After sharing the top prize at the 2006 Busoni Piano Competition age 18, Dinara took up a busy international concert schedule, appearing at many festivals including the “Progetto Martha Argerich” in Lugano, the Cheltenham Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Proms and “La Roque d’Antheron”. She has performed at many of the world’s major concert venues, including the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Berliner Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, New York 92Y, Cleveland Severance Hall, Tokyo Sumida Triphony Hall, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. In concerto engagements, Klinton has worked with The Philharmonia, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Svetlanov State Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Dinara combines her concert activities with her role as Assistant Piano Professor at the Royal College of Music in London. As a recording artist, Dinara has received widespread critical acclaim for her interpretations. Among many dazzling reviews, her album Liszt: Études d’exécution transcendante, S. 139, released by the German label GENUIN classics, was selected by BBC Music Magazine as Recording of the Month. Dinara’s debut album Music of Chopin and Liszt was made at the age of 16 with an American label DELOS. Her third CD is a part of renowned recording series Chopin. Complete Works on contemporary instruments, released by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Poland. This year’s release with PianoClassic is featuring Prokofiev Complete Sonatas. Dinara’s music education started in the age of five in her native Kharkiv, Ukraine. She graduated with highest honours from Moscow Central Music School, where she studied with Valery Piassetski, and the Moscow State P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she worked with Eliso Virsaladze. Dinara completed her Master’s degree at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Dina Parakhina and became the inaugural recipient of highly prestigious RCM Benjamin Britten fellowship during her Artist Diploma course.. After that, Dinara attended masterclasses at the Lake Como Piano Academy and worked with Boris Petrushansky in Imola Piano Academy.
Dinara Klinton has been selected by London’s Keyboard Trust for their artist development programme The Keyboard Trust celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021-22, and supports the most gifted young pianists on stages in London, New York, Mexico, Berlin, Rome, Washington, DC, and other music capitals. The Trust has presented more than 250 international pianists, historic-keyboard players, and organists in nearly 1000 concerts worldwide. With such notable musicians as Evgeny Kissin, Alfred Brendel, and the late Claudio Abbado among its trustees, this formula has proved its worth. www.keyboardtrust.org
The concert was introduced by the distinguished Russian pianist Elena Vorotko,co artistic director of the KCT.