Maxim Kinasov – Streamed Recital
22nd September 2021 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Franck-Bauer Prelude, Fugue and Variation, op.18
Rachmaninov – Etude-tableau No. 2 in C Major, op.33
Etude-tableau No. 3 in C minor, op.33
Etude-tableau No. 9 in C-sharp minor, op.33
Liszt Après une lecture de Dante (Fantasia quasi sonata)
Barber Sonata for Piano, op. 26 Allegro energico – Allegro vivace e leggero – Adagio mesto – Fuga Allegro con spirito
From the very first notes of Bauer’s transcription of Franck’s Prelude Fugue and Variation it was obvious that here was an artist painting in colours and sounds.A transcendental technique at the service of allowing the music to speak with such subtle beauty and colour.It was a lesson in itself to see this Sokolov type figure hovering over the keys just as the great master himself does.Imperceptible continuous circular movements like a bee hovering around the hive waiting to bring home the nectar to make their unique honey.This was just as Rubinstein had likened style and personality in trying to explain the unexplainable to the very first young musicians competing in his competition.It is a God given gift – the search for beauty and to be able to tell a story in all it’s forms from the tempest,through inferno to paradise and sublime love.And it was all here in Maxim’s extraordinary performances .A vast bare canvas that he proceeded ,without any extrovert showmanship,to fill with the most subtle ravishing sounds.The fluidity of the haunting theme of the Franck was followed by the luminous clarity and full organ like sonorities in the fugue.A sense of balance that allows the musical line to be revealed without disturbing the shape and form of the underlying counterpoints.An orchestra in his hands led by someone who is listening so attentively to every strand as the music takes on its architectural shape and form.A continuous forward movement of absolute authority as he takes us by the hand and leads us through this magical landscape.The reappearance of the haunting theme is in this Bauer transcription even more beautiful than the Prelude chorale and fugue.An ethereal apparition of pure magic that gradually builds in intensity with its obsessive almost Scriabinesque insistence that blows itself out leaving a mere whisper of the magic land we have been allowed a glimpse.The work was written by Franck for organ in 1860/62 and dedicated to Saint Saens ,although originally conceived for piano and harmonium.Both Harold Bauer and Ignaz Friedman transcribed it for solo piano.Bauer was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1873 and Paderewski persuaded him to leave the violin and take up the piano which he did very successfully.He moved to the USA after having made his debut in Brahms n.1 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and giving the world premiere of Debussy Children’s Corner Suite in Paris in 1908. He was a very influential teacher at the Manhattan School of Music and Universities of Miami and Hartford – he died in Miami in 1951.
Maxim’s performance was indeed the sumptuous velvet sound of Ormandy’s Philadelphia but there is also a brass section to every orchestra that sometimes I felt Maxim neglected.Music is made of contrast and we had to wait until the glimpse of Dante’s inferno before Maxim chose to include the brass band too! ’Darkness to be able to perceive light ‘. It is not meant as a criticism and is obviously the choice and sensibility of the interpreter.Volodos indeed plays so beautifully that you sometime wish he would just throw himself occasionally into the piano like a sledgehammer – but can too much beauty ever be criticised ?It is a question of an introvert personality of a modesty and ultra sensitivity to sound allied to a transcendental technical mastery which is quite remarkable in a pianist still in only his 20’s .
The three Etudes Tableaux by Rachmaninov are described by the composer himself as pictures in sound – the fact that he never disclosed what the pictures were we might assume that he did not want to limit the listeners own fantasy.As he himself said:”I do not believe in the artist that discloses too much of his images. Let [the listener] paint for themselves what it most suggests.”Like Debussy where the name of each of his 24 Preludes is printed at the end not at the beginning of each one preceded by dots as though this is just a suggestion of something written in sand not stone!
Op.33 n.2 was of haunting beauty and a subtle sense of balance which gave such luminous sound to the melodic line and created an atmosphere in which the ending was simply a golden stream of sounds like smoke dissolving into thin air.An extraordinary technical feat of jeux perlé of fleeting lightness and colour not least helped by his mastery of the pedals.
There was menace in op 33 n.3 played with total concentration as the sumptuous arpeggios revealed the melodic line in their midst and was re used in the Largo of his Fourth piano concerto written fifteen years later.
Op 33 n.8 was played with turbulence and Scriabin like menace where his control of sound was quite extraordinary as he brought this miniature tone poem vividly to life.
Après une lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata is also known as the Dante Sonata and is in one movement .It was completed in 1849 and first published in 1856 as part of the second volume of his Années de pèlerinage.It was inspired by the reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy and as Leslie Howard pointed out in his introduction it obviously depicts l’inferno with the souls of hell wailing in anguish.It received a remarkably vivid performance from Maxim with a great sense of character from the very first notes shaped with great care before the menacing scales in the base that herald the unveiling of events.There was a gradual build up of intensity shaped like a true musician with a transcendental control where technique and music are fused into one.There was utmost delicacy too in the central episode- Beatrice?-where his fingers barely touched the keys as the colours from the accompaniment we’re wondrously revealed like jewels sparkling as they caught the light.There was excitement,too,generated by an accumulation of sound that became quite overwhelming as the full orchestra – brass and all- was revealed.Octaves that were screams from hell dissolving into vibrant chords on which the melodic line was revealed as if on a magic cloud of sounds.He fearlessly plunged into the final few pages with a triumphant outpouring of sounds which knew no technical limitations.A remarkable performance in which every detail of the score had been scrupulously incorporated into a fantasy world that more than explains the composers own title of Fantasia quasi Sonata
The Piano Sonata in E flat minor Op.26 was written by Samuel Barber in 1949 for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the League of Composers aimed at promoting new American works . It was commissioned by Irving Berlin and Richard Rodgers and first performed by Vladimir Horowitz in Havana, Cuba, on December 9, 1949, followed by performances in Cleveland and Washington, DC,before presenting the work at Carnegie Hall on January 23, 1950.It was received with overwhelming critical acclaim and has been part of the piano repertoire ever since.It is a complex work in four movements and although extremely difficult technically , the sonata is much more than a virtuosic showpiece. Barber integrated many 20th century musical ideas into the sonata, including extended chromaticism and tone rows.Pungent rhythms alternate with mystery and menace in the first movement and the second, Allegro vivace a perpetuum mobile played with startling rhythmic energy to the final bars thrown off with transcendental lightness.The subtle beauty of the Adagio mesto was played with such extraordinary colouring and a sense of architectural shape constantly moving forward with great intensity .The Fugue showed all his amazing agility in a ceaselessly busy embroidery of notes of transcendental difficulty.
A New Artist recital is offered to selected young artists to introduce themselves to the Keyboard Trust and the public .A programme that is varied,imaginative and thought provoking is suggested which is exactly what Maxim so valiantly and superbly offered today.As Leslie Howard remarked in his after concert discussion with the artist it is a pity that there was no live audience to give him the standing ovation that he so obviously deserved.
Maxim Kinasov is an award-winning solo and chamber musician who performs a wide range of repertoire from Bach to Shostakovich. Born in Moscow, he began piano lessons at the age of five, making his concerto debut at the age of nine and his recital debut a year later.Awarded a scholarship, he obtained his Bachelor of Music degree with Distinction from Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers there included Sergei Dorensky, Nikolai Lugansky, Pavel Nersessian and Andrei Pisarev, who are his greatest musical influences.During his studies, he won several music competitions including Second Prize and Audience Prize at the 2015 International Gian Battista Viotti Piano Competition in Vercelli, Italy, Grand Prix and Special Cuomo Foundation Prize at the 2014 International Chopin Piano Competition in Rome and Grand Prix, First Prize and Special Prize ‘For the best performance of a work by Tchaikovsky’ at the 2013 International Konstantin Igumnov Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Lipetsk, Russia.In 2019 Maxim completed his Master of Music in Performance degree, also with Distinction, at the Royal Northern College of Music in the class of Ashley Wass, supported by a Leverhulme Arts Scholarship. Last year he studied on the International Artist Diploma course at the RNCM, supported by the FM Wright Piano Award. Now he is studying on the Postgraduate Diploma Advanced Studies course at the RNCM, supported by the Anderson Powell Prize, and the Helen Rachel Mackaness Charitable Trust.In 2018, Maxim won the RNCM’s most prestigious award, the Gold Medal and played in the Gold Medal Winners concert at Wigmore Hall in the Spring of 2019. He most recently won First Prize and Special Jury Mention at the Cantù International Piano and Orchestra Competition (Italy, 2019), Runner-up Prize at the Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition (2019, United Kingdom), and Second Prize and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Prize at the 2019 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.In April 2020 Maxim has been named as an Artist of the Month of the Talent Unlimited Music Charity and in May won an Ian Fleming Award at the Help Musicians Postgraduate Awards. Also, he was selected as a Kirckman Concert Society Artist for 2019-20 and played his full-length solo debut at Wigmore Hall in October 2019.Maxim has been a soloist of the St Petersburg House of Music since 2012 and has performed in prestigious venues across Russia, Italy, Spain, UK, Brazil and US, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. He has performed internationally with orchestras including the St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Hallé, among others.At the invitation of Nikolai Lugansky Maxim took part in the 35th International Rachmaninov Music Festival in Tambov, Russia (2016). Other festival appearances include the ‘Gathering Friends’ International Music Festival at the Moscow Conservatory, South Downs Summer Music Festival in Alfriston, Chester Music Festival, Battle Festival and Hastings International Piano Digital Festival.As a chamber musician, Maxim won the 6th International Sergei Taneyev Chamber Ensembles Competition in Kaluga, Russia (First Prize, Special Tatiana Gaydamovich Award and Special Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Prize ‘For the best performance of a work by Taneyev’, 2017) and has worked with Henk Guittart of the Schoenberg Quartet and Alexander Bonduriansky of the Moscow Trio.Maxim has broadcast on Italian TV channels TG2 RAI and TGVercelli, and on BBC Radio 3.
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30th Anniversary Year
Patron: Sir Antonio Pappano
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